Lakewood Church – The New Cool
Pastor Carey Nieuwhof wrote a piece on the church thinking it needs to be “cool” to attract the younger generation. All around us is a rapidly changing culture, and when we ignore that culture, it’s not wise. It is still a great idea to use the culture to reach the culture, but you have to go beyond that. But being cool isn’t what it used to be…
Cutting-edge keeps changing…fast. Constant connectivity online has sped up trends. What’s novel isn’t novel for long anymore. You used to have to hire experts, be in a certain circle, or do some travelling or sleuthing to find cool things.
Now you just download an app, watch a video, stream a song, or follow whatever trend you’re passionate about in the moment. Trends are shorter, less interesting, and we’re all growing oh-so bored with what’s novel. It’s harder than ever for churches to be cutting-edge because cutting-edge keeps changing.
Here are three iomportatnt keys to send Lakewood to a future of greater impact with Millennials.
- Authentic Leadership and Connection
Sometimes the reason cool doesn’t connect is because underneath all that “cool” is an inauthenticity: people who have fallen for the lie that style trumps substance. Unchurched people and younger adults and teens are looking for authentic leadership and authentic connection. And, if the church is anything, it should be a place of deep authenticity.
- An Elevated Sense of Mission
The church has always been about something bigger than itself. At the center of our mission is Christ. While most organizations naturally drift toward an insider focus, church leaders must resist this at all costs. A self-obsessed community is a turnoff to a young generation that is well aware of the needs in the world the church often ignores. And a bigger mission is something Millennials are longing to give their lives to.
- Elevated Community
God is in the people business. And the heart of Christianity is relationship — a right relationship with God, each other, and ourselves. It’s also fairly clear that younger adults and teens hunger for community perhaps more deeply than previous generations did. Moving forward, churches that elevate community and prioritize healthy relationships will fare much better in accomplishing their mission than those who don’t.