(GC) Jared Wilson–The Attractional Church’s Growing Irrelevance

From my vantage point in the evangelical landscape, I am incredibly optimistic about the future of the church. I know we have lots of cause for concern about “the culture,” and I know the church tasked with proclaiming the kingdom in it seems pretty shaky right now. But I when I take a sober look at the young Christians (the millennials!) training for gospel ministry and thinking hard about mission, I like where their head’s at. The rest of us, on the other hand . . .

I find it incredibly interesting, sort of amusing, and more than a bit sad that the attractional church””what we used to call the “seeker church”””hasn’t seemed to grow up at all. Yes, it’s grown big. But growing big and growing up aren’t the same thing. I was thinking about this recently after a few people posted a video of one of the landmark attractional churches featuring a ’90s boy band throwback segment in their worship service. I’m sure it was a lot of fun. I’m also sure it was especially fun for those whose heyday was the ’90s. It’s the same fun that was had by the worship team in my ’90s attractional youth group who were constantly reworking rock hits from the ’70s to make them more Jesusy (“Peaceful, Easy Feelin,” anybody? How about a little “Talkin’ about my Jesus””he’s some kind of wonderful”?).

And it occurs to me that, exceptions being granted, the attractional church is specifically designed for what was said to “work” 20 years ago….

Read it all.


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3 comments on “(GC) Jared Wilson–The Attractional Church’s Growing Irrelevance

  1. Pb says:

    This is the standard criticism. The two fastest growing churches in my town are non-traditional. They are still growing. And they are full of young people.

  2. Robert Atkins says:

    With due respect, Pb, I think you are missing the point of the article. The author is not discussing which churches are growing the most, but rather which allow their members to grow the most.

    And although, I probably wouldn’t have put it quite this way, I think he nails it when he says “the growing gospel-centrality of the evangelical millennials is the best “model” for the church in the 21st century, mainly because it prioritizes the timeless gospel and makes contextualization obey it, rather than, as is the attractional church’s tendency, making the gospel obey the contextualization”.

  3. Pb says:

    I thought the point of the article was to put down growing non-denominational churches by assuming that people are being attracted by fluff and innovation.