Zup Du? Cool Dude Church Movement

Have you looked for a church and ran into this?  You are new to the area and you see a church with a church name that can only mean one thing, “We really want to reach our City for Jesus!”  Your family decides it is close to home and maybe based only on a shared desire and by stereotyping the church according to what you think the church is like, you visit.

You pull up to the church.  You see many people who look like you.  You tell your wife “We could be friends with them.”  You pass the children’s room and your child is fascinated with all of the other children laughing and playing.  Things seem good here.

During the service people are laughing and talking to each other.  The music starts.  The music is great.  The prayers really hit home.  The preaching is Biblical.

There is only one problem.  No one engages you the entire time.  One person says, hello but it wasn’t really a hello, or hi.  It sounded like, “Zup du?”  In English that is, “What’s up Dude?”

Not a single person shook your hand.  No one asked about you or anyone else in your family.  No one really took the opportunity to reach out.  But the name of the church says they care about this city.  The name says, “They care about us.”

Then you reflect and ponder the disconnect.  There was a guy who prayed at the beginning of the service.  He talked about family and really being a part of what was happening in the church.  He talked about really feeling connected to the club.  He talked about knowing and being known and growing deeper.

Let me get this straight.  I must come to you to know you.  I must open up to you first.  I have to make the effort.  I thought you were the body of Christ.  I thought you cared about me.

Here is a question for the small group advocates?  Is it really working?  As a corporate chaplain I have heard more stories about small groups going wrong or falling apart instead of actually working.

I have seen people get rid of Sunday school and deep teaching in the name of manufactured community.  Can Christian community be assigned or manufactured, or is the church to be aggressively seeking out how to connect people in various ways that work for them?

I only trust a few people with the inner workings of my heart and mind and those relationships have been nurtured over many years.


9 thoughts on “Zup Du? Cool Dude Church Movement

  1. I don’t think it can be manufactured and it sure can’t be pixilated. I’m confused by your last sentence…what do you mean by ‘professional’ Christian and why are you so closed off? I’m not trying to pick on you, I’m just confused. As a lay Christian, church has also, taught me not to trust clergy very much. Are we talking about the same problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. To clarify what I mean, In reality I live a life that is hard to characterize. I own a business that is B to B. That is not a ministry, it is in the sense that I am running it and have the opportunity to be a good witness with how I do business.
      Part of my week I work for an organization as a chaplain, and then there is the blogging Christian writer side of me.
      The point I attempted to tag on to the end was that when churches say, “This is your small group because you are all the same age, or are in the same life stage, or you life close to each other, etc. That barely works for me because Christian community happens naturally. Even though Pastors may push for this type of grouping, they intuitively know that true community comes through someone else they have truly built a transparent rapor with. They can ask that person for prayer or share anything with them without judgment. Some of what makes clergy untrustworthy is they need community as well and it takes a humble type of wisdom under the fear of God to seek out true community. Other believers keep clergy honest. Any pastor you know has their own demons (so to speak) they wrestle with. If you take someone who has been in ministry a long time, they have had their personal ups and downs along the way. So their community is likely made up of other pastors. Healthy pastors have friends outside of their own church most of the time, because those people do not have a horse in the race and can be trusted.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I agree with all of that. I’m really tired of method and church growth techniques and technological trends. I want to go back to Holy Spirit filled fellowship. I miss it a lot. Pleases dismiss the hanging and. My cursor is doing weird things and won’t let me delete it… and

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I think it depends upon the church dynamic. We visited a church last year; it was HUGE. No one spoke to us beyond, “Hi,” but there were lots of smiles. I got the feeling people didn’t really know whether we were visitors because there were just so many people. When we asked someone for directions, he took us the considerable distance personally. Even in our mid-size church, sometimes it’s hard to know whether someone is new. Hubby and I try to reach out but I’m sure we miss some.
    On the other hand, when he and I were searching for a church home, we visited several churches. We wore jeans and t-shirts and went sans Bible because we wanted to gauge how the community responded to an apparent newbie and obvious visitor. A couple churches outright snubbed us (everyone else was dressed to the 9s) while others made welcoming overtures. It was an eye-opening experiment, to say the least.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like the jeans and wanting to test them out right away like that. I have done that and purposely not shaved and stuff like that. I don’t think the size of the church matters for what I am talking about in individual cases. The only concern with size for me is: The small church tries to mimic what the large church is doing, because it is seen as working. When I look at a church I want to understand if a church is taking a short cut away from being missionally minded. One way I feel churches large and small are doing that today is through small groups. “To really know us and be apart of us, come find us and get plugged into the group. We will talk to you then.” That doesn’t seem very first century to me.
      To argue with myself though. There are some people who want to be left alone until they are ready so it does a service to the introvert. I am probably not made for introverted outreach, so it is outside of my understanding. I talk to everyone when I go somewhere.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting conversation. I relate to both introverted and extroverted (so I’m weird). Historically, it’s been pretty easy for me to meet people and make friends (which in itself is an important definition), so I don’t feel a need for people to faun over me, since real relationships take time. At this same time, I also HOPE that I’m a point in my walk where the real question is not “where do I feel most comfortable” to “where do You want me, Lord?” (although, admittedly, that’s still a work in progress also…)

    Liked by 1 person

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