There has been much discussion on this site about worship styles, emerging churches, traditional churches and many other items that there are many, many, many differing opinions. So when I ran across this article in the Christian Post, I found it very interesting.
According to Senior Pastor Jim Shaddix of Riverside Baptist Church in Denver, Colo.,
“Young people, he believes, are not opposed to hymns. In fact, they sing revisions of hymnals sung by contemporary artists such as Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman.”
“Pastors clad in a suit and tie are also not a turnoff to the younger generation who watch late night show hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman run their monologues in a suit and tie.”
“Beyond the form of traditional churches and worship styles, young people, who are labeled as the future of the church, are opposed to the “fabricated Christian culture” within the traditional churches.”
“They’re opposed to the lifeless and heartless way we often sing those hymns,” Shaddix said at the second Baptist Identity Conference in Jackson, Tenn.
“Young people are not necessarily running to something,” the Southern Baptist pastor highlighted. “They are running away from something.”
And the standard answer church leaders would give to the question of what they are running from is the church form, the worship style, the traditional denominational affiliation – the tangible. But Shaddix believes the young believers are running from “lifeless Christianity.”
“This generation of young people “can see through” the emotionless expression during worship and the frequent listing of prayer requests but the little time allotted in services for actual prayer.”
“They can see through our hypocrisy,” said Shaddix.
“This generation has the gift of discerning authenticity in the church”, Shaddix plainly stated. “And this generation wants to do missions, not just study and give to missions.”
Burke writes, “I am convinced authentic community provides the context where the majority of spiritual growth and healing can take place.
Emerging generations, like never before, crave this sense of community inside a spiritual family. If they don’t experience hope for authentic relational support, I don’t care how hip the service, or how rippin’ the music, or how vintage the vibe…they won’t stick.”
He continues, “As you can see, the challenge for the church of the twenty-first century has very little to do with the type of music or weekly service or drama or art or candles or coffee we serve. These things are important and may attract people initially, but they will never keep people connected and growing in faith community.”
So, in a nutchell, today’s generation wants authenticity. They want people passionate about God. They want people who live their lives for Christ and not just talk about it. They want something real, powerful, tangible.
Now that’s being Relevant!