I got my start in vocational Christian ministry in 1993. Back then people who started new, seeker-driven, contemporary churches would say, “We’re not your parents church!”
That’s a perfect message to Baby Boomers who had experienced the institutional church as dull, with nothing to say and an old way of saying it.
We’re not your parents church!
The new, seeker-driven, contemporary church approach worked to some degree. Baby Boomers did return to churches like Willow Creek and Saddleback and all their local incarnations. Now it is there children and grandchildren who are finding their parents (and grandparents) church as dull, with nothing to say and an old way of saying it. They are more critical of churches with professional stage lighting, fog machines, hi-tech video screens, and worship auditoriums with a platform or stage instead of a sanctuary and a pulpit. I often talk to young people who ask, “Is that – the whole big event show type worship service – really what Jesus had in mind?”
Pastoring a small, rural, Mennonite church that is pleasantly irrelevant (to me) by the world’s standards, I never thought I’d get to say, “We’re not your parents church!” But, alas, I think we can say it with some integrity.
If you parents attended a modern, contemporary, seeker-driven church we are decidedly NOT your parents church. I think that’s a good thing.