Bring Back Vinyl Church
“How do we get more kids in here?”
“How do we make church more ‘hip’?”
“How can we be more ‘relevant’?”
I don’t really know.
But what I do know is this…
A lot of people are going back to vinyl records these days.
I don’t want a watered-down church for ‘the hip young people’. A lot of churches are still stuck in making church like CDs or (God help us) MP3s.
I want vinyl church and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
Now, we can’t be assholes any longer. We must ditch the exclusionary tone of the Christendom of yesteryear. Hospitality is where we need to live now, dear church. But reverence is good. Not being everything for everyone is fine. There will be plenty we’re just not for. And that’s fine (great, actually). God loves them just as much.
But the sooner we stop watering things down and trying to make church ‘hip’ or ‘relevant’, the more we can get closer to authenticity. Dust off that old turntable, dear church. Leave the skinny jeans in the drawer and put those vestments back on. Take the projectors, strobe lights, and fog machines down and bring in the thuribles and incense (the more the better). Tell your praise band to save the rock and roll for real rock and roll and bring in old hymns (maybe comb through the toxic theology), the organ, and/or a choir. Contemporary music is excusable in elevators and shopping malls, but not vinyl church.
This is what brought me back to the faith — the ancient formal liturgy delivered in a welcoming (though geeky and reverent) way.
Yes, vinyl skips sometimes. It’s full of imperfections. It’s manual and we have to get up, walk over, kneel down, and turn the A-side to the B-side.
We moderns need somewhere to go that doesn’t try to profit from our comfort.
(I say, the colder the floors, the better.)
We need a sanctuary from life on-demand. That doesn’t feed our toxic biases. We need more grace, not more ‘betterment’. I don’t want church to be another version of high school — a popularity contest for the cool kids. I want to hang out with the ones who know what it’s like to lean against the wall at a party all night. The broken and flawed people who find each other, not through their smooth edges, but their rough ones.
There’s just something about that crackling record that just… does it.
And so, I say…
Bring back vinyl church.
Grace + Godspeed,
(I’ve been so inspired by this article since it came out earlier this year.)