Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Nirvana Generation

There is a generational gap, especially among pastors today. We have been seeing a shift in Christianity for about the last 10 years that is coming to a head. There is the rise and separation of what I call, "The Nirvana Generation." The kids who were greatly influenced by Nirvana and the ensuing grunge movement are the ones leading the next wave of Christianity.
In 1990, music changed forever. We still see the effects of it today (even in church music). The 80's birthed hair bands. They were interested in fame, girls, fortune and they were all technically amazing guitar players. They wore make up. They wore spandex.

One day, music changed forever. A little band named Nirvana helped bring to the forefront the "grunge music scene." The metal, hair metal rock and heavy metal bands all took a hit. Grunge was about 4 chords, angst and real passion. You did not wash your hair, you sang angry, abstract songs and did not care if you got girls or fame. The scorecard changed. In 1990, music changed forever. I was around 12 years old at the time. I grew up listening to this music and heavily influenced by it.

Now, how does this apply to pastors and a church? Well, we are seeing the fall of traditional pastors and traditional religion. The way pastors teach, the music that is played and the environments have caused a great divide in the church. It is like the 1990's for the church, especially in America. Like hair bands being replaced by grunge, "churchy" pastors and churches are being replaced by the "Nirvana Generation." The rules are being re-written before our eyes. 3 Piece suits and Rod Parsley style of church is diminishing quickly. Televangelists are struggling like never before. Over 3,000 churches close a month. On the flip side, we are seeing some of the most creative churches and pastors arise. No longer is the scorecard Christian TV, 3-Piece Suits, Preaching at People, and Begging for Money. The scorecard is seeing as many people come to Christ through relevant ministry. The scorecard is flipping fast. Traditional is not hymns and suits anymore. Traditional is doing it the way you did last year, or 5 years ago. Traditional is not a building or name. Traditional is holding to ineffective ways of doing ministry in order to hold to the previous order of the great divide.

The hair/rock/metal bands that fought the change, went down when old methods disentegrated. The scorecard has changed for the church as well. It is not how big your building is, but how much community impact you are making. It is not how pretty or loud you preach, but rather your impact on your context/culture.

Yep- things are changing, changing fast.


  1. This is great! Excellent Post! You commented on one of my posts a few months ago. I've been so busy I didn't even notice. I wanted to apologize for not getting back to you. So... sorry about that.. hahaha. Seriously, the Nirvana Generation is a great perspective on the church right now. Well done.

  2. Thanks Josh! I love checking out new blogs.
    Enjoyed yours. Appreciate the encouragement. Keep building His kingdom!