Dang! Whoâ€™dâ€™aâ€™thunk that Crosswalk.com would have such good content?! Great stuff from A.J. Kiesling, author of Jaded, here:
… the heart-cry of the emerging churchâ€”or what many call postmodern Christianityâ€”appears to be not a finicky demand for perfection but an authentic search for the real deal, the no-frills, non-packaged, stripped-down version of Christianity that Jesus walked and talked. After being fed a spiritual diet of glam-gospel and grandstanding for so long, many believers canâ€™t stomach another bite. They hunger for the meat-and-potatoes of authentic community coupled with meaningful teaching.
… At a recent retail seminar about reaching the twentysomething crowd, author Margaret Feinberg (Twentysomething, Nelson) told the audience of boomer Christian bookstore owners if they donâ€™t change their stores to appeal to younger generations, they will lose them foreverâ€”to Barnes & Noble, Borders and the youth-culture-savvy Target. The same can be said for the Western church as we know it.
Unless it finds a way to be relevant to the changing culture, authentic spiritual seekers will go elsewhere. â€œA growing number of Christians are simply no longer willing to support expensive marketing campaigns, multimedia Bible studies and Sunday services with the choreographic demands of a Broadway musical,â€ said New York Times writer Laurie Goodstein in an article about the proliferation of house churches and other forms of do-it-yourself congregations. Professor Nancy T. Ammerman, a sociologist for Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, concurred, adding, â€œThis development shows people looking for faithâ€™s essence. They are no longer willing to finance huge buildings, a large staff, insurance policies, advertising campaigns and the leaking church roof, because it all seems simply irrelevant.â€
… Perhaps postmodern believers do practice a type of consumerismâ€”but let it be said of us that what we long to consume is the â€œessence of faith,â€ the pure and simple gospel of Jesus Christ, without the fries, please.