Monday, May 21, 2007

View of the Church from GenX

Below are 3 spiritual subcultures defined in an interview by a couple of 20-somethings. This should be a wake up call to older ministry leaders. We can't assume that we understand this culture. We must talk to people in the culture. We may realize that the very approaches that we use push them away rather than draw them near. Read the entire article from Monday Morning Insight here.

1. Hokey Christians: These believers are heavily invested in the pop culture side of conservative evangelicalism and can be spotted easily at the mall wearing “Jesus” T-shirts featuring logos borrowed from the Sopranos or Reece’s Pieces. For Katie and Josh, this subculture regards Jesus as a “homeboy,” but lives the faith out cartoon-style, heavy on affectations, lite on the substance.

2. Bitter Christians: Harmed by the misuse of authority in local congregations, these disciples have just seen too much. Pain and disappointment have led them to declare a sort of spiritual free agency. Still devoted to Jesus, they recoil at the way the Church becomes a vehicle for the exercise of personal power. To this person, the idea of a purpose-driven life seems like just another infomercial.

3. Non-Christians: These young adults will “consider themselves spiritual,” but have minimal interest in what evangelicals have to offer. Their preference for the open architecture of compound spiritualities (those formed by personal choice from a menu of options) seems to immunize them against our standard Sunday morning offering. Katie noted that, “you can’t reach them with anything like church.” In contrast, she recalled a backyard pig roast (which Jan and I attended) that used the simple grace of hospitality to pack the place with her unbelieving neighbors.

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