This week, I ran across an article from the Washington Post titled "Can hipster Christianity save churches decline?" This article was very interesting to read! But it got me thinking, what is "hipster Christianity" and why is it so relevant in today's society?
The article asked "Do people want Christianity to be cool? What happens when churches become too driven by the desire to be trend-savvy and culturally relevant?" It also stated that "cool Christianity" was found in mega churches that are also some of the fastest growing churches in the US.
A counterexample of this, however, is the Hillsong movement. It was founded in Australia in 1983 and now has congregations in many major cities across the world. Hillsong NYC has been described as "the BuzzFeed of Christianity" and the pastor's message being "PR friendly" and avoidance of certain parts of the Bible that may make some people uncomfortable.
The ultimate question of the article was can the avoidance of potentially offensive topics really be a sustainable path forward for churches like Hillsong? Sure, being flashy and saying the correct and safe things will bring the crowds, but is that what we are called to do as Christians? Christianity's true relevance of the gospel is not found in the comfortable trendiness but in its uncomfortable transcendence to renew and restore us.
“It’s because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It’s because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It’s not because we want more of the same," Brett McCraken writes.
When I start feeling comfortable with my faith in Jesus, I always want to challenge myself to learn more. I hope that the revival of the church is one that stays and the "hipster Christianity" does bring more believers to Christ.
I hope the gospel wrestles with these people's hearts, and that the message of the gospel brings them to the heart of Christ. I hope the message in these churches is not one of feeling "comfortable" with their sins and troubles, but feeling uncomfortable, repenting, and accepting God.