“Church Hunters”: I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

 

Remember when going to church meant dressing up, then going to a brightly sunlit church auditorium and singing some reverential hymns of praise to the Lord from the hymn book with Christian brothers and sisters before listening to the pastor preach a sermon from his Bible that pointed to sin and failings but was followed by messages of grace, forgiveness, encouragement, and empowerment in the Lord?

If you attend a church where that’s still the norm, you might not be aware of just how much things have changed elsewhere.

Following the Hybels/Warren/Drucker model, many churches are competing in the Sunday attendance numbers race by catering to the young, casual “seeker” with a “I’m on my way to dig a ditch” dress code, along with rock concert-style CCM music replete with light shows in a darkened auditorium, and a sermon that’s short on doctrine and sin and very long on cheery feelgoods from a pastor who sports the latest avant garde haircut and is dressed in sneakers, skinny jeans, and a t-shirt, who doesn’t even know your name.

Check out the these two videos from comedian John B. Crist showing what today’s young evangelicals are looking for when they’re hunting for a church. I know from experience that there’s a lot of truth mixed in with the comedy. Yes, I’m an old fuddy-duddy in many respects and I agree the cut of clothes you wear to church is not the litmus test of spirituality. But the church seems to have gone to the opposite extreme in trying to blend in with the culture to boost the attendance numbers.

 

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21 thoughts on ““Church Hunters”: I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

  1. Saw this video the other day made me laugh. It is so true. But also when also we need to look decent when we come to church. Also the dress should never become legalistic.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, there’s a LOT of truth in the two videos. I actually enjoy not having to dress formally for church but now it seems to have gone to the other extreme with people (including the pastor) vying for how grungy they can look. It seems people are going to the extreme to appear not to be legalistic, which is also a form of legalism.

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      1. Right. I’m not disagreeing with you, just commenting that grunge is now the new dress code. The male staff members at the church I attend, and there are several, are forbidden to wear anything dressier than jeans and flannel.

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  2. That only really applies in big cities where you get a lot of options. In the middle of nowhere, it’s basically the same little white church (emphasis on white inside and out), traditional hymns (no new-fangled technology of any kind) and a lot of missing young people. (No point in being a single and a Christian when it’s all about marriage and nothing but marriage.)

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  3. When we focus to much on how we dress we have lost track that’s all . I just came out of an organization that basically taught a woman cant wear pants. And that the way you dress keeps you saved.

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    1. The church we attend follows the mega-church model and I’m not completely comfortable with all that goes on. The focus is entirely on the millennials as I’ve mentioned before. But my wife and I still like it better than the traditional churches nearby. We’re too “liberal” for the IFBers and too “conservative” for the hip seeker churches.

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      1. Thanks a lot, Jim. We’re admittedly square pegs in some regards when it comes to conservative evangelicalism. We’re theologically conservative but apolitical and even anti-political when it comes to mixing church and politics and many conservative evangelical pastors regularly mix politics and patriotic messages in with their sermons. We’ve visited several churches where that was the case and we just don’t feel comfortable. One of the things we appreciate about the church we attend is politics never enters into the sermons.

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  4. Well..first funny video LOL.

    Now, may I be a fuddy duddy for just a moment? Shoot me if you want.

    We are a small country church and people where anything from jeans to suits and ties. Nobody cares and I don’t either. I must confess, though, that I do like a preacher in the pulpit in a suit. Just like I would prefer my banker, lawyer, and doctor in a tie. To me it speaks of a certain amount of authority and credibility. I know the preacher is just a regular guy who happens to be called by God, but…I like them to be “more” than me to an extent.

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    1. Thanks, Wally. These videos really resonated with me because we attend one of those progressive mega churches. I feel much the way you do. Church should not be a clothes contest but I think the pastor should dress appropriately for his ministry. At our church the pastor makes sure to be the grungiest in attendance. In fact, the entire staff is forbidden to wear anything dressier than jeans and flannel. The videos caught today’s mandatory grunge attire rules perfectly. I don’t wish to make a huge deal out of clothes at church, what’s preached is the most important thing. But preaching is no longer what it used to be either at these “progressive” seeker mega churches.

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      1. Yup

        It’s funny. I wear a suit and tie on Sundays. Not because I have some thing about it, but before I went into the blue collar world, I wore Suits every day. Now, I obviously don’t need them. I wear them because I have them, and I actually like wearing one to tell the truth. One day I showed up in shirt sleeves and I thought people were going to stroke out on me!

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      2. I understand the criticism of having to dress up for Sunday church. People don’t dress up for much these days. The Lord is everywhere and is not confined to a designated building on Sunday where we must dress up to meet Him. But I think the sub-casual dress code at the progressive mega-churches is just another indication of their casual approach to the Lord in general. They argue that they don’t want to put any obstacles in front of “seekers” in coming to church so they try to make it as “easy” and inviting as possible. I’m not sure if the mind set promoted at church should be “How comfortable am I?” I’m just grateful I have a place to worship and hear God’s Word preached. I’m not going to agree on everything no matter where we go. But these videos really resonated with some of the practices at our current church.

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      3. You know, Tom, I have never had to look for a church. I just am where I have been. Other than briefly when I was a kid, this is the only church I have been a member of or attended unless for some special occasion. I hope I never have to, and that I can just die where I am.

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      4. To be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable where we are, Wally. The church is so blatantly focused on the 20-40 age group that it would be very hard to picture a 70 year-old couple wobbling down the aisle there and that’s my wife and I in ten years. I need to take that into account for the future even though we both like certain aspects of the church very much. I’ve looked at various other churches around town but so far they’re either too traditional (we’ve got several KJV 1611-only around), charismatic, ecumenical, or the same type of “progressive” model. There’s no rush but I need ask the Lord to find us a fellowship that takes into account its older members and attendees.

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