I read a magazine article a couple of weeks ago…in fact, I've had an e-copy of the article on my desktop and I look at the title every so often – "Is your church too cool?" Here's my quick take on this article – first of all, if you want the full article, email me. I'll shoot you a copy…if you don't, that's Ok because I'll give you a quick summary of it straight from the writer's keyboard (so to speak). I gave up trying to be cool…I realized a few years back (after I started going over the hill age-wise and grasping some realities of my life) that I cannot be cool any longer. I might have been at one time…I don't know. And frankly, I cannot guess if I was or not – coolness is game. Coolness isn't the goal of life…it just so happens to drive many cultural standards because "coolness" equates with acceptance, popularity and a sense that "I am important because people think…" Coolness is attractive. Yes, I confess that I evaluated my "coolness" quotient for more time than I want to admit…I think everyone of us do in one way or another. Of course, if you are not analyzing your coolness, you are cool! But I digress…coolness has nothing to do with a faith community…real-ness and authenticity do. I'm involved in the journey of a wonderful faith community now that just is what it is…full of people like this magazine article states – just real people. We don't do music as well as I would like, but that's OK because it is true to who we are as a community now…we are a community of broken people with transparent relationships…yes, we have our problems and our struggles but God has a hold of us and we are tracking His Spirit's life in and through us…so we are living as we can within God's grace and vision. Trust me, I like fog machines…I used to own one. I have several electric guitars that I can't play (for two reasons, one of which has to do with the number "11"…enough said!). Maybe there will be a day where our "cool" factor will go higher…it really doesn't matter. We'll just try to be more of ourselves…sing the songs and play music as best we can to God's glory…use some stuff for worship and teaching that is the best we can do with the gifts we have to offer to God…we'll just embrace the fact that Jesus loves us and we'll try to share that with any who will listen and within all the relationships in which we find ourselves. Dig?
"People sometimes assume that because I’m a progressive 30-year-old who enjoys Mumford and Sons and has no children, I must want a super-hip church—you know, the kind that’s called “Thrive” or “Be,” and which boasts “an awesome worship experience,” a fair-trade coffee bar, its own iPhone app and a pastor who looks like a Jonas brother. While none of these features are inherently wrong (and can of course be used by good people to do good things), these days I find myself longing for a church with a cool factor of about 0. That’s right. I want a church that includes fussy kids, old liturgy, bad sound, weird congregants and—brace yourself—painfully amateur “special music” now and then. Why? Well, for one thing, when the Gospel story is accompanied by a fog machine and light show, I always get this creeped-out feeling like someone’s trying to sell me something. It’s as though we’re all compensating for the fact that Christianity’s not good enough to stand on its own so we’re adding snacks. But more importantly, I want to be part of an uncool church because I want to be part of a community that shares the reputation of Jesus. Like it or not, Jesus’ favorite people in the world were not cool. They were mostly sinners, misfits, outcasts, weirdos, poor people, sick people and crazy people." Rachel Adams