Millennial Monday: Aesthetic matters
I recently read an article by The Telegraph that encouraged me. In this article, it stated that through a survey, it was discovered that teenagers and younger people are actually open to faith, rather than rejecting it.
In this article titled “One in six young people are Christian so visits to church buildings inspire them to convert,” the main discussion was that the allure of cathedrals and church buildings are proving to be more successful than traditional church efforts in drawing younger audiences to church.
While America doesn’t have as many cathedrals as a European country does, I think this is an important topic of discussion. Aesthetically-pleasing environments are comfortable. They don’t seem so foreign. They make you want to come back.
This is something the modern-day church should consider while racking their brains about how to reach those “ever-puzzling” Millennials and Generation Z people.
I’m not saying you need to go rip up the green carpet in your sanctuary and completely rid your church of any and all pews. In our college Sunday School class, we sit in couches and larger chairs in a circle, rather than school chairs in a line.
Why is that you ask? It makes for a more comfortable environment in which people can freely share and let their guard down, rather than feeling like they are sitting in, yet another, lecture hall.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to all ages. I know many that prefer to sit in organized lines and listen to a teaching for Sunday school. That’s what makes a church such a great place for a body of believers.
In a church building, the actual Church (body of believers) can freely “come as you are” to worship and learn more about the Almighty God and experience community in Christ. We don’t have to be perfect; we don’t even have to be wearing our Sunday best. He just wants us to come.
So when things like carpet color or, in European countries, the cost of admission to enter into a church building get in the way of the reason why we gather in a church building, that is where we lose generations.
The future of the church is in upcoming generations. Not all decisions made in the church about how to decorate need to be 100 percent catered to those generations, but aesthetic is important. Take and apply to your church how you please.
Sometimes aesthetics can be added in lighting choices, warm versus LED. Other times, aesthetics can be added by adding a coffee bar or drink station. As long as the Word is taught and the Lord glorified, I don’t see anything wrong with changing things up a bit.
Remember, the church building isn’t as important as the Church, the body of believers, inside it. A group could meet in a field in the middle of nowhere to sing His praises in a prairie, and that would be the church.
The Lord says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) He doesn’t say for where two or three gather in a church building that is meticulously decorated in pastels and florals there am I with them.
As we go into the world and make disciples who make disciples, we want the world to come into our churches and feel welcomed. Let’s not lose sight of the ultimate goal, the Great Commission along the way.