I’m the first person to agree that the church needs to be relevant to the culture; the concept of relevancy being cliché in church circles by now, I’m sure. We absolutely should not be afraid to diversify the way we worship; the manner in which we present the Gospel to unbelievers in order to reach them. However, I wonder if we have gotten away from “spreading the Gospel” being our sole motive. Are we really just trying to avail ourselves of the tools that will help the cause or are we more concerned with assimilation—looking like the rest of the world and therefore being accepted by it? Because at the end of the day, people in general and young people specifically respect authenticity much more than identification. I don’t have to “get” you 100% to love you 100%. It can’t be about smoke and mirrors. Fancy rock bands, hip-hop poetry slams, and teaching the praise dance team how to ‘cat-daddy’ is all cool. But then what? What’s behind the curtain? Emptiness? Oppression? A bunch of folks who look and act the same as the people they claim to be “different” from?
Is our peculiarity (as in Peter 2:9-10) wearing off?
I don’t know. Again, I have no issue with or judgment against any of these activities. I’ve participated in my share of slams and concerts. But if that’s all there is…if there is no authentic community to support it, no genuine love shared with the people we say we are trying to reach with it; if a person leaves the church saying, “that was a cool show” and not “wow, something is happening inside of me” then it’s all for naught.
Love, joy, healing…salvation. The power of God can reveal all of these through a hug, a kind word, sincere help…and yes, maybe the cat-daddying praise dance team. 🙂