Transformers: Dark of the Moon is opening this Friday to lukewarm reviews. Critics are claiming that while the special effects are phenomenal, the storyline and character development is weak. Director Michael Bay is unphased by their thoughts.
Bay told the USA Today, “There are 300 critics in the world. There’s tens and tens and tens of millions of fans in the world. I make the movies for them. I’m not here to please 300 people.”
As I read his words I couldn’t help but think of churches who are more focused on the small number of “insiders” at their churches rather than focusing on the thousands in the communities around them.
Critics generally don’t appreciate summer action blockbusters with great special effects from an artistic viewpoint in the same way they do, let’s say, The King’s Speech. However, Bay understands how much the public loves the experience of summer movies and targets that audience.
George Barna said in a June 28th article “Various measures indicate that Americans remain deeply interested in connecting with God, but fewer and fewer retain enthusiasm about doing so in a conventional church setting or through long-standing religious institutions. Millions of Americans are currently marking time until new, more appealing avenues of faith expression and experience are developed and accessible.” To read his full article, click here.
Barna understands that the unchurched are literally begging for an “appealing faith expression and experience.” He also views music as “engaging entertainment, instructional philosophy, representative communication, the foundation of generational language, the source of role models, and a means of connecting people.”
Church leaders, are you more interested in satisfying your “300 critics” or reaching the multitudes of the unchurched all around you? Michael Bay would recommend that you reach the multitudes.
One group everyone desires to reach is the younger generation. Earlier week, the USA Today wrote a compelling article on an underground movement of young people called Ravers. Back in the 90s,wearing wide-legged pants with neon colors, Ravers would gather in warehouses and dance until the early morning.
This past weekend, the sub-culture known as Ravers gathered together in Las Vegas at an event called Electric Daisy. Featuring over 200 musicians, the underground movement had grown to a weekend attendance of over 200,000. That’s 200,000 mostly 18-29 year olds who Jesus deeply loves.
Kaskade, one of the event’s performers, said, “And it’s not like you can just get into your car and hear it (techno rave music) on the radio. You have to really dig to find the music. At its core, it’s still an underground culture.”
Pastors and church leaders, there are underground and sub-cultures movements already in your communities and churches. As Kaskade pointed out, people are digging to find connectivity and meaning. Are you primarily speaking to insiders? Do you use inside language? Or are you an inclusive and externally-focused church?
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