For those still fascinated with church as hip and cool and constantly beat the drum about keeping up with emerging trends, here is a poem for you by Andrew Wilson, whose blog I visit each day.
Out with the old, and bring in now the new!
Long live the quirky, fresh, emerging church,
Which current trends and popular research
Have shown displacing organ, robe and pew.
They do what older churches cannot do,
And knock denominations off their perch,
By being that for which millennials search:
Authentic, fresh, hip, urban, deep and true.
What future now for draughty liturgists,
Their cassocks out of date, their words arcane?
What hope for seeker-led suburban splurge,
Their baby boomer ranks now on the wane?
Our city culture shows, demography insists,
That any church who would survive must first emerge.
But that was then. Now, in the ten years past,
The fickle fog of fashion has not cleared,
And consequently, as the sceptics feared,
Emergers have not had the depth to last.
As elder statesmen have looked on, aghast,
The leaders’ youthful hubris has appeared:
Rob’s Bell has tolled, Don’s churchmanship gone weird,
And Driscollusionment has set in, fast.
What happened? Was it neoliberal drift?
Did Brian, Doug, Mark, Karen, Don and Rob,
Contextualise themselves out of a job?
Perhaps. But more than that, the trend-obsessed
Were always going to underrate age as a gift.
New wine is good, says Jesus; but old wine is best.