We’ve just come back from a short holiday in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. We stayed in South Yarra, an inner urban and somewhat hip location which is noticeably different to the suburb where we live in Sydney.
The obvious differences start with the dense inner urban environment of high-rise apartments and offices, the streetscapes of trendy clothing shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and the footpaths busy with mostly young professionals, hurrying to and from work, meeting up for drinks and meals, or buying food at the local markets.
And there are not many churches for all these people, because, fairly obviously, few of them would be interested. We attended a nearby church that aims to “reach a post-church generation with real encounters with God” and while the service was informal and lively and the congregation was young and included some creatives, there weren’t many South Yarra hipsters there.
The whole experience made me ponder again how the christian faith might be meaningful to these inner urban professionals, and how the church might need to adapt if it wants to be alive in the next generation.