What exactly do we mean by "Old-Fashioned?" Old-Fashioned does not mean "worn out." Let’s consider the burger joint. By “old fashioned,” does the owner of the business mean the building hasn’t been repainted or remodeled for 60 years? That would make it “old,” but not necessarily “old-fashioned.” Remember, 60 years ago the paint was fresh! Any place that is not kept up on the basic maintenance, cleaning, and decorating needs runs a risk of having an image of laziness and lack of concern for their guests. Why would anyone want to frequent a place like that?
"Old-fashioned" doesn't mean "irrelevant to the culture." The hamburger joint might boast of being “old-fashioned” and yet be newly remodeled and equipped with the latest technology. They may stick with some basic designs and décor that is reminiscent of a particular time period, but that doesn’t make them irrelevant to their community. They may look simple inside and they may avoid the latest trends, but they can still be appealing to the masses—because they stick with certain things that are timeless. That is what I believe churches should do. Stick with what is timeless!
I’m afraid all too many people have decided not to come back to churches that they labeled “old-fashioned,” when what they really meant was “lifeless, dull, and worn-out.” Sixty years ago, I can about assure you, this was not the case. Baptist churches in the fifties and sixties were thriving. They were the most vibrant, and they drew the largest crowds.
Sure, some mistakes were made here and there (particularly I would say many mistakes were made in the adequate training of the next generation), but there was nothing wrong with the basic "recipe" that attracted the crowds. What worked in that day will still work today--hard work, a genuine love for the Lord, and faithfulness to His Word. And after all, isn't it the final product people are really looking for? The Gospel satisfies souls just as much today as it did back then.
So go ahead and call yourself "The old-fashioned church." Keep on advertising "Church as it once was." Sing the old hymns, keep knocking on doors, keep running buses...This IS still Grandma's church! And hopefully, in a couple generations, our grandchildren will be saying the same thing!