Hipsters: Has the Church Become Too Cool?

HipsterWhat does it mean if you like Mumford & Sons, you drink fair trade coffee, you sleep on organic sheets, and you sip Pabst beer (gag!) after work? It means you are a hipster. What’s a hipster? Have lunch on any Sunday at Tacolicious in the Marina/Cow Hollow district of San Francisco and you’ll see plenty of young hipsters hanging out . . . most of them trying to carry on a conversation while simultaneously glued to their smart phones.

Recently, my family took me to lunch at Tacolicious (which was a bit like taking a carnie to the symphony). Afterward, I started wondering if the church has overly targeted hipsters for membership. How so? Most of the modern churches I’ve attended lately have carefully crafted an ambiance conducive to the hipster lifestyle. Sanctuaries look more like concert venues, some even equipped with hip coffee shops in the foyer (do they still call them foyers?). Worship teams are often tattooed young adults in trendy attire. Last Sunday the piano player on our church worship team was wearing a T-shirt that said, “The Devil is a pimp . . . don’t be his ho.’” (Not quite the Apostles’ Creed, but clever nonetheless.)

Sure, there are many young adults who do not aspire to the hipster style and yet manage to live in peace among them (think the Robertson’s of Duck Dynasty). But is it wise for the church to focus so much on one segment of society? Shouldn’t the church (meaning the congregation) be flexible enough to make interesting connections with all manner of folk, even folk who don’t fit the hipster lifestyle, folk who might say or do things that don’t always align with churchy manners and customs? Yes! And not just because it is the right thing to do, but because everyone is blessed when this happens. It allows people the freedom to feel comfortable being themselves, even in church. It is not primarily the ambiance of the church nor the attire of the congregation that creates an inclusive culture. It is up to the people to create a culture that’s appealing to a variety of people. If the church wants to focus on attracting mostly hipsters, pastors had better work on paring down their sermons to 140 characters. (Just kidding . . . sort of). Now if only I could find a church for the uncouth, there I might fit in.

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Posted on September 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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