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The Quest for “Relevance” Makes a Church Irrelevant

Jim Somerville has reposted a WSJ article by Brett McCracken that all serious church leaders ought to read—especially if they are concerned about reaching the notoriously hard-to-reach twentysomething age group:

If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that “cool Christianity” is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real.

If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it’s easy or trendy or popular. It’s because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It’s because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched-and we want an alternative. It’s not because we want more of the same.



  1. Well, it’s cool to be real and authentic. It can be cool to relate the Gospel to life. It can be cool illuminate the meaning and relevance of an (at first) obscure Scripture. Apparently McCracken always feels like he’s an uncool outsider. That doesn’t make him any “better” (whatever that is) than anyone else.


  2. Darrell Pursiful says:

    Being real and authentic is “cool” (for certain values of “cool”) precisely because it doesn’t try to be. That strikes me as being miles away from trying to pack the pews by being trendy and “relevant.”


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