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Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Wood Street Girl

Has the importance of club culture been overstated? In my opinion, no. Going out dancing is an integral part of most young people’s lives (those who live away from home anyway) as it provides a rare release from the pressures of daily life, as well as (in my [pre-Christian] experience) a fairly intense spiritual experience. The overwhelming music, visuals and crush of humanity played a big part in affirming who and what I was; young, vital, fun-loving and yearning for a higher emotional/spiritual experience.

In fact, one of the reasons I avoided CU like the plague was that those who attended did not go out dancing and did not approve of it.

In response to the lack of Christians who go dancing, a pal in London (with some like minded peers) joined a group called ‘Christians for Clubbing’ which offered mutual accountability and allowed believers the opportunity to go to clubland without falling into the obvious and not-so-obvious pitfalls. Granted, the Christian clubbing experience is very different to the non-Christian one, but it can and should continue to be a relevant (and enjoyable) witness to the lost. Thoughts?

David. A.

I am trying to get through the book just now as well. I thought chapter 3: Identifying with Jesus was excellent. I kind of ground to a halt after that and have just picked the book up again. I look forward to reading your thoughts .


Wood Street Girl - I did think at the Andy Hunter concert a while back, "there's someone who is at home in this environment." It was interesting to contrast your ease with that of your hubby, and the non-Christian kids who I'd brought along. They all totally disengaged with the "clubby" part but participated when the bands involved were more rock based.

That said Gibbs and Bolger are not talking about a style of music but "club culture". At times at the eight O'clock service I think we successfully mixed a club atmosphere (i.e. layout of the room, lighting, visuals, chill music playing when "speaker" was talking) with the rock style worship music that the kids related to better than deck based stuff.

Some of the guys who would come along to the "eight" would go clubbing after and would say that this was just a continuation of their worship. I have no problem with this and do not doubt that for them it was a spiritual experience. That said they were 10 - 15 years younger than me. So I guess part of my questioning about the influence of club culture is that by focusing on this do you narrow the age band of people who will relate to this? Do you exclude people who are through and through post modern in their thinking, but would feel awkward club culture because they perceived themselves to be too old?

Stuart Blythe

I think that club culture is important in some peoples lives as Wood Street Girl demonstrates and not in others. It can be an age thing or simply a taste thing and I do not really have the knowledge or experience of it to comment about in what ways the Christian clubbing experience may be different from the non-Christians.

Like Brodie I have seen some young people respond to a club culture environment and a different group to quite alternative music for whom participating in club culture was simply not on their radar. But hey, this is surely okay, our culture consists of a variety of cultures.

With respect to Emerging Church and the book by Bolger and Gibbs I think that the importance given to it there relates to its significance in terms of the origins of the movement in the UK and perhaps to a particular understanding of how music can function. I am not sure that Emergent Churches elsewhere are so tied to this culture and or the music associated with it. Indeed the movement is concerned with being culturally relevant, and since there are many cultural expressions, it seems to me that it would cease to be true to itself if as a movement it began to give priority to one cultural expression over the others. Accordingly, emerging churches will and as far as I understand it do vary from group to group in terms of how they express themselves musically and culturally.

And okay, I need to confess, as you have probably begun to suspect, I don't like dance music, when I dance, dance like someones dad, which I am, and I am probably too old to enjoy it... anyone for YMCA?


I like Mark Driscoll's comment on this. He says that when missionaries go to China and immerse themselves in the culture, dress funny and learn a new language we say they're a good missionary. When christians do that in club culture (or other areas of our secular culture) we tell them they're compromising and selling out.
The challenge to the likes of me who really aren't comfortable in the club scene is this: Am I prepared to be uncomfortable to reach people with the gospel? Am I prepared to become all things to all men in order that I might win some?
The challenge for those christians who are already engaging in that space is this: Are they prepared to stand up and stick out for Jesus?
I need to repent of pointing the finger before examining my own life. Jesus said something about "logs" and "specks". I'm off to go look that up...

Paul Roberts

Brodie: the wonderful misprint at the start of this post has totally transformed my thinking from "Emerging Church" to "Emerging Crutch".... ;-)


Paul - well now I'm just embarrassed, but happy that it made you laugh. With this in mind I'll let my typo stand.

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