PCA pastor Dr. George Grant has a fantastic post concerning NextGen Worship. His post was sparked by a recent cover story in WORLD Magazine featuring worship for the next generation.
He cites an article by blogger Julie Neidlinger entitled "Why I Walked Out of Church" as indicative of a growing trend among folks who are just tired of the games and phoniness they find at church. Here is a sampling...
Julie R. Neidlinger, editor of the Lone Prairie online magazine has nailed it. In her article, Why I Walked Out of Church she describes the disaffection so many young Americans have with the modern Evangelical church, "the coffee bars in the foyer, the casual attire, the buzz words, all the programs and activities imaginable, the big-screen video monitors, the contemporary music," all of it.
She confides that a recent World Magazine cover story about "NextGen Worship" actually "inspired a strong desire to smack the pastors depicted in the article and in the photos. The cover photo alone enraged me, with the pastor wearing baggy jeans and untucked button-up shirt with flip flops and an ear microphone. Later, the same guy is shown out front of a church holding a paper Starbucks-like cup of coffee. Could he try any harder to be lame? I'd have liked to have taken that cup of coffee and dumped it on his head. But it's nothing personal against that guy or his beliefs or sincerity. It's an anger at something else."
I have to admit that I had a similar response to that magazine cover. As Solomon said, 'there is nothing new under the sun.' While it looks cutting edge, relevant, and sincere, make no mistake -- it is contrived and carefully crafted. NextGen worship is just the latest fad in the worship wars -- it is GenX rebelling against the 'plastic' mega-church stuff of the baby-boomers who themselves rebelled against the fundamentalism of their upbringing.
You can read the rest at Parish Life (scroll down to August 6th). You will also find a link to Neidlinger's blog.
NOTE: I gather from Neidlinger's blog that she lives in North Dakota. You might think that church growth would not have impacted a place as remote as that but think again. Denominations of all stripes have moved in this direction so much so that you'd be hard-pressed to find a difference between an Assemblies of God church, a Bible Church, an Evangelical Free Church, a Berean Church, or just about any other evangelical church. Last week while traveling in northern Michigan I drove past a rural church that was trying to be relevant with a Veggie Tales VBS program. I grieve for our older folks who've been shoved out of the way as the boomers and now GenX do their thing.