We’ve hit the ground running here in England: establishing Global Adventure, a furniture restoration and decorating hobby/business, and most recently, meeting together with some neighbors (neighbours?) with the intent to “Get Real”.
Get Real is the name of our little group of Christ-followers, family, friends, seekers, and curious onlookers. We basically call it that because we believe that central to any small group of believers is honesty and commitment. So we have decided to get real with one another as we grow as friends. From that, we think that a church of believers can arise.
Of course, we are the newbies to England. We’ve spent the last five years living in a amazing Christian community we call G42, and really experimenting with what authentic Christianity, discipleship, and faith looks like. But now that we are transplanted in the UK, we have to take this spirit into a new culture and church environment.
But somehow, I feel like I have to Make Christianity Cool. And it’s messing with my head.
I Am Not Cool.
We have just been back to our old stomping grounds of Mijas, Spain–visiting family and friends as part of a 5-year reunion of past alumni. There have been parties, BBQs, weddings, parties, dances, seminars, parties, and well… parties. Though I have had the time of my life, I am realizing that I am definitely not cool. My holiday beard is turning gray, my hair is thinning, my taste in music is definitely not “trendy”–I am just a big dork.
There is nothing outward about me to attract anyone to any group I might start. In Spain, we have young, hip, fun, good-looking staff and students that attract more hip, fun, good-looking staff and students. So we are used to having a great crowd of easy-going, yet spiritually solid young adults around. I miss that. So I wrack my brains thinking, “What can I do that will attract more 20-something radicals in the UK?”
One of the latest buzzwords is authenticity. We’re told that the latest crop of 20-somethings want “authenticity,” hence the return to natural diets, retro clothing, and rough-around-the-edges faith. But very quickly, even this quest for reality can turn fake. Faux retro, fake honesty, manufactured roughness.
But it is this authenticity that we are striving for (Get Real, remember?). However, just being honest with my misdeeds and struggles is not what’s going to attract people to a small group.
But what will make Christianity “cool”? What will make people join another group of people as they try to do this whole “Christ” thing differently?
These two ingredients are what people are really looking for when they look for authenticity. They are searching for people who have found “the meaning of life” and run towards it with all their heart, all their soul, all their strength, and all their mind. People are searching for people who would die for something; who would stake their life on something; who are “all in.”
We don’t have to hide it. We don’t have to be ashamed of it. We might even try being proud of our faith. We’ve been told that to be Christian is intolerant, uncool, and un-intelligent. I’m going to swallow my pride and my uncoolness and start being proud of who I am.
Bec and I are all in. We’ve moved to a new place and staked everything we have on this concept, so why wouldn’t we be?
Love the Lord. Love your neighbor. Live abundantly. Go and Make Disciples.
If you are building a new non-profit or charity, starting fresh in a different place, attempting to pioneer in a rough location, or simply looking for friends, try it out with me. Live Passionately. Speak with conviction. Go all in.