Cool Church . . . or Spirit-Filled?

A friend told me not long ago that he feels Good Shepherd is trying really hard to be a “cool” church.

Ouch. With love, but ouch.

It probably hurts so much because there is more than a grain of truth in it. The language we use, the songs we sing, the visuals we display . . . yeah, it’s all pretty cool. I sure never thought I’d be able to serve in a church that had all this talent and all this freedom.

But what was unsaid in the “cool church” comment was this: why aren’t you trying as hard to be a Spirit-filled church?

Maybe that’s why this past Sunday felt different somehow. Yes, we did a Goo Goo Dolls song. Yes, the graphics for Loved are very good. But more than ever before I sensed that all that cool-ness was not an end in itself, but a bridge to something much more important: the love of God. The presence of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit was unmistakable in that room. As were the numbers of people coming to faith as they recognized that God wasn’t mad at them; he missed them. (You can hear the sermon here.)

The result of loving correction? Maybe. If so, I’ll take it.

Because I’ll take Spirit-filled over cool any time.