Updating Religion

After listening to the Reinventing American Protestantism presentation, I began thinking about what people really look for within religion. People turn to religion for many reasons. Religions of all kinds provide a sense of structure, community, and security. Growing up in a Catholic church, I always understood that I was to remain quiet and attentive while the Father gave his sermon. I learned from the presentation that some Protestant churches are reforming the way they worship into something that is more energizing and interactive. In these new churches, such as my best friend’s church, Sandals, in Riverside, CA, church services are said to resemble concerts with intricate stage set ups and loud live music. The pastors of the church consider themselves equal rather than higher than the church goers they are preaching to. Because these churches have only recently been appearing, it makes me wonder whether new generations are finding it harder to sit through traditional, less interactive services. With the rise of technology and media, our society is being groomed to need constant stimulation from the world around us. These new churches are doing just that. Instead of listening to an individual speak in a white-walled chapel with  fifty people from around town, church attendees can enter a massive warehouse, surrounded by hundreds, dancing and singing to God as colorful lights flash, and massive screens project a concert. By keeping services casual and interactive, it is harder to lose focus or interest in what is being taught because of everything that is happening around them. While some may need the structure of a traditional church sermon, I think it is interesting to see churches develop to fit new needs of society.