Cutting Edge Conversations

Recently had a conversation with a friend who currently attends a very “contemporary” church.modern church

His pastor is proclaimed by the mysterious “they” to be really hip and cutting edge.  (As in “they” say –he is the bomb!)

As we talked about life in the traditional church and the contemporary, so called,  cutting edge church —  we made some observations.

  • Every church has traditions.  In some congregations the traditions are younger than in others, but all churches have those things that are “accepted practice”.   The preacher wearing jeans can be a tradition.  I wonder what the reaction would be in my friends congregation if the cutting edge guy showed up in dockers and a polo shirt?
  • People are easily bored.  No matter if you are traditional, blended, or cutting edge — bore me and I am back to the latest posting on my iPhone.
  • Cutting edge sometimes tries to hide the fact they are a church.  In my friend’s case part of this is making sure every Sunday the first song is a secular one (another tradition).   I’m not opposed to this, but really!?   Do you think your audience doesn’t know by the first song they are in church?   Secular as a means of making a point or illustrating a counterpoint to the truth — I get that.  But the fake out song is not faking anyone or anything.
  • Relevant doesn’t mean loud.  Music or preaching – loud can wear thin quickly.  Like conversations or concerts there has to be an ebb and flow.
  • Relevant doesn’t have to be irreverent.  Too often we think those who are unchurched expect us to sacrifice a sacred cow to prove we mean business.  Some cows are sacred for a reason and that reason needs to be explained and appreciated.

old churchThere were some other observations, but the main thing we decided was that style wasn’t  as important s making an impact on people’s lives.

I used to sit through some pretty traditional stuff because I loved the people in the congregation and I knew they love me.

My dad sat through some very loud and cutting edge stuff in chapel services  when he worked for a Christian University.  He did so because he loved those young people and what they meant for the future of the church.

Weigh your cutting edge decisions carefully.   The real cutting edge stuff is loving people the way Christ loves us.

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