Attractive Churches

It seems like a lot of churches desire to be attractive. I think this is good. Everyone wants to be attractive. But the issue for me is to whom do we want to be attractive and how? Obviously the church should be concerned about being attractive to Jesus Christ. We are his bride, and are clothed in his righteousness and adorned with faith and holiness. This should be of first importance. In another sense we desire to be attractive to those outside the community of faith. We want them to see the beauty of Jesus among us, and the love we have for one another. We want them to see the Kingdom and enter in. But how do we show this beauty? How do we make ourselves attractive?

Many churches make themselves attractive by trying hard to be like the world, making ourselves beautiful with whatever is fashionable, trendy or cool. Do I need to say that this approach only makes the church superficially and temporarily attractive? But in reality it is God's design of the church itself, her ancient faith and practices, her counter-cultural values and behavior, that makes her appealing to those outside. Brian Kay, Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in CA, says that if anything makes the church appealing/interesting/attractive to the world in a redemptive way, it is being ourselves.

The church will be the most provocative and alluring when it is being itself, being who God constituted it to be, that is, a mini-society that proclaims the Person and work of Christ, and imitates his sacrificial service. The church will be least relevant when it is caught in the act of reinventing itself to gain more friends. I remember as a teenager that the surest way to get me to avoid a Christian youth event was to show me a flier promising "cool music and awesome teaching." That meant that for sure the music would not be cool, and the speaker would be more aware of himself, or me, than of God.
Brian Kay, The Relevant Church