Matt Marino, over at gospelside blog, has written an incisive blog post about the church swallowing the deadly pill of youth culture: “What’s So Uncool About Cool Churches” (HT: The Aquila Report). He argues that in swallowing that poison pill, the church is dying. To make matters worse it refuses to acknowledge the diagnosis. Certain things look attractive and healthy externally. Meanwhile our internal organs are shutting down. Life support is about to be terminated. I resonate with Marino’s post, and I share his concern.
Diagnosis: Dying Church?
Marino’s metaphor may sound over the top. But he backs it up with some alarming statistics. I haven’t abandoned my faith in God’s sovereignty. However, it remains that our leadership decisions matter. There are real consequences for abandoning the means and ends God commends. Marino’s post is well worth a read. Whatever you think about youth culture and the church, this post will certainly give you pause. It should challenge your thinking. He argues that by adopting the youth culture ethos, the church has retreated further from the world. We have retreated into a subculture that merely “Christianizes” the cultural forms of the surrounding world.
By adopting the measures of success inherent in youth culture, the church has forsaken it’s God-given purpose. We believe big is the same thing as effective. We believe more programs translate to better discipleship. Prioritizing cultural relevance has squeezed out any room for real gospel transformation. Ironically, adopting youth culture has also led to evangelism being turned over to professionals. It’s the job of the pastors and staff to reach unbelievers. I’m just providing a taste. He has more to say, and I hope you will take the time to read the post.
Is Marino correct? Should we be concerned about losing our children? How would you address the problem? I’d love to hear your thoughts: please comment!