All over the Western world Christian churches and organisations are making all sorts of changes. Changes to the way church is done, or how it looks, or how it is named, is part of this. Explicitly Christian names and titles for example are often being dropped for more update and trendy ones.

The reason given for all this is often expressed in one word: “relevance”. Churches and Christian organisations claim they want to be more relevant, more appealing to the secular masses, and more up-to-date. Thus they are making various changes, as part of a new emphasis on marketing schemes and advertising tactics.

Lots of churches for example are coming up with rather trendy names, such as CityLife or some such thing. I am not picking on this particular group, but just using it as an example. My own church some years ago ditched its older, more accurate name, including its denominational tag.

It now has a contemporary name, with at least the word ‘cross’ still a part of it. But many churches are getting rid of any religious or even biblical sounding words in this effort to become appealing, relevant, fresh, and new. It has a lot to do with marketing strategies and becoming more seeker-sensitive and seeker-friendly.

Not only are name changes taking place, but many other radical shifts are occurring as well. Of course long gone are pews, hymnals and the like in many contemporary houses of worship. But so too are things like wooden crosses and other Christian symbols.

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