In our well meaning effort to relate to the culture, I’m getting some interesting comments about contemporary churches today. Pastors are now preaching in T-shirts and torn jeans, and many large, contemporary churches today look more like concert arenas than churches.
I understand the trend and I helped lead the charge. In the search for excellence in all things, us baby boomers want perfect lighting and sound, as well as something different from the dressed up but insincere church experience many of us grew up in.
But some younger people are going the opposite direction. They’re telling me that if church isn’t any different from what they encounter at the local mall or movie theater, then what’s the point in going?
I’ve heard from a number of twenty-something’s who lament the loss of the mysterious and transcendent in church, and long for something that rises above their normal weekly experience. Are we swinging back? I’ve read a number of studies that indicate more and more people are gravitating toward churches with a liturgical tradition – the “smells and bells” if you will.
That’s something you might consider in your own church. How have you lost the sense of the mysterious? Do worshipers feel the transcendent presence of God when they enter your worship space, or does it feel just like another concert hall or auditorium?