After centuries of change and cultural transformation, a question of the church’s relevance in the modern world is being questioned.
Many think that the church is an outdated organization. These people are either young teenagers or people who ascribe to Postmodernism. Postmodernism is an artistic and philosophical trend that advocates that truth is subjective to each. This philosophy questions the authenticity and beliefs of the church while the younger generation simply cannot see the significance of the church and faith in their lives. The church’s quest for relevance in today’s modern world led to the rise of several trends and practices that seek to accommodate contemporary needs and to reach out to people from all walks of life.
Moving Towards a Subjective Faith
Church groups have been observed to move away from an authoritative view of the Bible as the source of instruction and guidance when it comes to morality and ethics. Today, the exploration of the faith and sometimes, learning from the Bible is offset to subjective and feelings-based readings and interpretation. Bible study trends shifted from a Bible class that is taught well and explored deeply to a sharing session between participants. Biblical emphasis is traded for reflections on everyday life and people-centered scenarios.
Reflection of Feminism in the Church
Because of the rise of the feminist movement, more and more Christian congregations have sought to train and ordain more women ministers. Aside from the new class of female pastors and clergy, more church groups are also moving towards putting more women members in instrumental and leadership roles in their respective churches.
Redefining Views on Marriage
The 20th and the 21st century saw the evolution of the views and definitions of what marriage is all about. Seminars on marriage and trained counselors for married couples have become in high demand. With the rise of the divorce rates, broken families, and failed marriages, Christian congregations saw the need to incorporate groups and teachings for individuals with these experiences. Aside from these, some congregations have also embraced progressive views on the redefinition of marriage to include couples with same-sex orientations.
Evangelism for Millenials
One of the biggest challenges for the church is to compete with the relevance of the internet, mobile devices, and social media in the lives of the youngest generations or the so-called “millennial” and “Gen-Z” generation. A lot of congregations seek to engage their interest and attention through gimmicks like launching programs and community service projects. Some also take advantage of the media that these generations are very fond of by uploading Christian content and teachings via popular social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
Contemporary Way of Worship
The people of today are no longer moved by the traditional way of worship – the teaching of the Bible’s New Testament in the format that for centuries has been practiced as the divinely-authorized way. There is the question of using plainly a cappella music in church versus using musical instruments or in some cases, even rock bands. In some cases, to accommodate both the older and younger generation, other churches have scheduled separate and differently styled services for each group. Another contemporary characteristic of services today is the more and more casual fashion opted for during church. Some Christian congregations become laxer in policing what appropriate or not appropriate attire for church attendance is.