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.