An interview with the author Rachel Held Evans about her new book and searching for authenticity in the church.
“I caution against the idea that the way to get young people into church is to be hip and cool and have a pastor who wears skinny jeans.”
Rachel Held Evans could have been talking about any number of much-hyped contemporary evangelical congregations: the Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, for example, whose pastor started a website called PastorFashion.com, or Mars Hill, the Seattle megachurch that dissolved amid controversy in 2014, but left behind a large network of congregations.
Many of the fastest growing churches in America are exactly what Evans describes: Places with Sunday morning rock bands and chic websites and pastors who occasionally, yes, wear skinny jeans.
So there’s irony in her wry caution: Young people may be leaving the church, but for the most part, evangelical Christian churches are not the ones they’re leaving.
Evans is not a woman to back down from a good church fight, though. “I think there are some evangelicals who are eager for me to quit bothering them,” she said in an interview. As a popular blogger and the author of books about topics like sexuality in the church, she has gotten into many an Internet tussle. But perhaps no topic invites anxiety like Christianity’s decline in America—and lo and behold, her new book, Searching for Sunday, is all about “loving, leaving, and finding the church.” She was looking for a certain kind of message, which may resonate with others in a generation that came of age after 9/11, lived through two wars, and not-so-happily endured years of recession: a recognition that life is dark. Full Story.