A few months ago I came across a video that pokes a finger in the eye of today’s church. Produced by North Point Media (part of North Point Community church), the video is spot-on when it comes to its depiction of what has become the cliche-driven “cool” church. Churches across the country–big and small–run to conferences hosted by trend-setting churches like North Point Community Church then run home and try to copy their cool style down to the smallest detail.
I’ve been there, done that. To be honest, the mega churches hosting the conferences usually offer the disclaimer: “Don’t go home and try to do this at your church.” Then they tell you about the Resources available at an incredible “conference-only” discount that tell you how you can go home and do church the way they do church. After all, it must work because they have 10,000 people attending their church every weekend while you only have a few dozen or hundred. So, in spite of the disclaimer, we buy their resources, run home and start implementing the cool, trendy ideas we’ve just experienced. I confess–I am guilty.
The Problem as I See It
As I reflect on this movement within many Evangelical churches, I have to ask myself “why does this bother me?” After all, if a church can implement these new methods and see real, genuine growth, isn’t that a good thing? Perhaps, to a point. What bothers me, however, is that I consider authenticity to be one of the hallmarks of a healthy church. When I see churches attempting to model themselves after “successful” churches all in the name of growth, authenticity is the last thing that comes to mind. When it comes to methodology, it is too easy in 21st Century America for churches to become market-driven, growth-oriented businesses simply for the sake of numbers. Pastors cease serving their congregations as shepherds and teachers, and become ego-centric entrepreneurs who will go to any length and adopt any new idea if it will lead to growth.
Again, if you sense I am being unfair with today’s pastors, remember–I’ve been there, done that. I am as guilty as any other pastor who has lost sight at times of what really matters.
Question: What do you think after watching the video? Do you see where your church is becoming a cliche-driven church? Is this good or bad?