Last post was mainly an email from a friend who does not attend New Life. He thought it was cool to see what several of you had to say in the comments. He emailed me back and here's a portion of his reply:
It’s not known enough, I believe that wonderful new Christian leaders (like you) are helping to lead us into this ‘new and very helpful’ realm (one that really gets back to what Jesus was doing -- He did not belong to social club), and that’s outstanding. I hope that this will continue big-time. On the marketing side, I believe it would be most effective for a church to openly promote the ‘come to us as the burdened person that you are, and let’s all help each other lift our burdens, through Jesus’ type of approach to the populace. I absolutely do not see churches expressing this message.
Furthermore, I am seeing a new wave of understanding/expressing amongst the 20-something-year-olds, and it’s refreshing.
Here's my reply back to him:
Honestly, I think there are a lot of on track, authentic, humble, biblical, irked-by-religiosity Christian leaders who are making a splash in the U.S. among people who are unchurched and dechurched. Time mag just put "the new Calvinism" as #3 on its list of 10 things shaping the world today.
Here's a theory I have... Most people's musical taste gets stuck in the era of what they loved from when they were 13 to 25. Then for the rest of their lives, they measure all music by that genre and those bands. Radio stations, as you know, capitalize on this by building station playlists around certain musical genres and periods and then attracting listeners who were in high school and college when those songs first came out. In other words, musically, people stop learning. They know what they like and don't like and that's that.
My theory is that people's conception about church follows a very similar tack. The church experiences someone has from the ages of 13 to 25 are what they know about church and that has become reality. From that era they determined what was good or what was bad about church, why they like the church or why they hate it or why they're indifferent to it. Relearning about church as its done now when they're 28 or 35 or 46 feels unnecessary. "They can't be doing anything much different today. I know what I think about church already. I'll just stick with my currently held view--I'm sure church hasn't changed much."
But maybe, like music, church has changed. Maybe churches that were getting things wrong in the 70's or 80's or 90's (pick your era) are now getting those things right. Maybe every church is not well-represented by the bad experiences one person had with a few churches. Maybe giving a church a real shot--I mean like by showing up and getting to know some people and making a fresh evaluation--would unearth new thoughts and responses to "the Church".
And so as I think about messaging and interfacing with people who don't attend a church and haven't for a long time, I think about the concept of helping people hear new "music"--to revisit a church to gain a fresh view of "the Church". To realize there may be "music" being made today that they like. "Music" that gets them excited again.
Anywho, really enjoying the dialogue with you. I look forward to continuing the conversation on email and the blog.