Is the church in a cool crisis? For the past several years many churches and their leaders have tried to out-cool one another. But, increasingly, we’re seeing signs that the cool thing may not be working.

 We’ve seen the cool craze manifest itself in pastoral costuming (dirty jeans, untucked shirts, trendy facial hair), glitzy stage production, slick video, and other forms. Many seem convinced that unless they look trendy and hip no one will pay attention. Or worse, they fear that some might think church people are uncool.

The trouble is, the Cool Reformation (as some have called it), isn’t working. The intended audience can smell a wannabe hipster from a mile away. Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that ‘cool Christianity’ is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real.” <a href=””></a>

People who hunger for God aren’t looking for cool. They’re looking for God.

So, some recommendations:

1. Don’t attempt to emulate Hollywood’s coolness. Doing so only contributes to a cosmetically thin show.

2. Don’t attempt to emulate cool megachurches or their leaders.

3. Just be you. Be real. People crave relationships with real people.

4. Deflect to Jesus all the attention and the desired adoration. The ongoing stories of how He changes ordinary people’s lives never get old. Make that your focus.