“What do a young political radical with dreadlocks, a middle-aged former business executive, and a graduate student share in common? Quite a lot, as it turns out. They represent the new and emerging face of Christianity in post-Christian Canada. They are a counter narrative to the popular story that Christianity is both in decline and of little consequence for people‘s lives.
“Peter is a self-proclaimed communist Christian who feels more at home with crack addicts on the streets of Vancouver. Paul is a hip early thirties guy with a cool goatee and tattoos. He left a successful youth ministry position in a mega church in Calgary to start a small business incubator-community center-church in the Great Lakes Rust Belt town of Sarnia. Mary is a seminary student from an upper middle class professional family. She lives in an intentional community in the post-industrial wasteland of east Hamilton. These emerging Christians have a healthy faith and active participation in the church. Our project focuses on these Christians who remain engaged in their faith and the church. Though they share a common commitment to the Christian faith, they are not monolithic. The emerging Christians represent a rich diversity of backgrounds, interests, social lifestyles, and age groups.”
“Peter, Paul, and Mary represent the three demographic categories of emerging Christians: Bohemians, Metros, and Misfits. First, the Bohemians are artistic people. They wear alternative clothing. Join co-op farms to grow their own fruits and vegetables. They eat local and organic. They tend to be politically progressive or liberal. Second, the Metros, also known as Hipsters, range from young mid twenties to mid-thirtyish. They sport trendy haircuts and clothes—e.g., wear skinny jeans. They use an array of electronic gizmos (preferably Apple products). They are probably in or have university education and are on their way to professional careers. Third, the Misfits are people from a variety of backgrounds. They include a range of people from the younger demographic who do not fit the cool hipster crowd to middle aged and retired folks. What they share in common is a sense that they are mis-fits in the traditional evangelical churches. They do not fit the evangelical status quo.”
Steven Studebaker and Lee Beach. More at MDPI – Open Access journals