Unfortunately, I had to switch back to eyeglasses recently. It appears that my eyeballs are no longer accepting of small pieces of plastic in them. So, I needed some new frames. Sarah and I went to pick some out, and I realized that I will (in 7-10 days), finally be in possession of my first pair of hipster frames! You know, they’re a little bit thicker around the rims, and some other stuff that apparently makes them more stylish and “in” (whatever that means). Either way, I got them because the salesperson and Sarah agreed that they made me look older and more sophisticated. Since I’m a 29-year-old man that got carded a while back for buying the movie “Tombstone” I went for the older look. But, I’m pretty sure that fashion statement will be dead soon. I’m probably about 3-5 years too late to call them “hipster” frames. It got me thinking a little about the style of music in the church and whether or not the churches have the same problem.
For example, I know many churches that call themselves “contemporary,” “blended,” or have a “modern” service. Well, the problem is that “contemporary” is beginning to feel like somebody hit the pause button in the 90’s or 2000’s. Throw in a Chris Tomlin song and an acoustic guitar, and we’re good to go. Don’t get me wrong, I play an acoustic and we have some Tomlin in our repertoire…but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re keeping up. Contemporary, modern, culturally relevant…by their very definitions, they give us an idea of “keeping up with the times.” Not “getting to a certain style and then dropping anchor.”
I was talking with our worship team about this idea just a week and a half ago. I believe that many of the “worship war” problems could have been solved if churches simply “kept up.” Instead, many churches tried to go from 1940 to 1990 overnight. Whoops. Well, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so they say. So how do we prevent it? Keep up. Don’t drop anchor in a style because you’re comfortable. Keep up with what the unchurched people in the area are doing.
Some people are undoubtedly reading this right now and are angry because we’re “compromising the Gospel for the sake of the culture.” First, we are doing what we are doing to reach the culture. However, we’re most certainly not compromising the Gospel. The Gospel is an awesome gift offered to all mankind, and that’s amazing. Compromise it? Throw it away? Never. But, use the things around us that people understand and appreciate to help us present it? For sure. Jesus did it. Paul did it. Even Billy Graham did it. It’s just good sense.
So, I like my new “hipster” frames. Does it mean I’m going to wear a scarf and skinny jeans? Negative. But I like my new frames, and so does Sarah, which is really what counts. Being out-of-style is absolutely OK in my personal wardrobe. But being out-of-style when it comes to reaching the lost? Not OK.