*When Darian Ahler leaves for church, he walks from his bedroom to his living room.

The congregation – San Francisco hipsters in their 20s and 30s – comes to him. No one delivers a sermon. No one sings. The group brainstorms together on what they can do to honor Jesus, besides just pray to him.

“These days, religion is intellectual masturbation. It’s not experimental enough,” said Mark Scandrette, the founder of the group, called ReImagine, and author of the book “Soul Graffiti.”

“We look at what Jesus taught,” Scandrette said, “then we try to develop an experiment that helps us learn that.”

The group is one of a growing number of do-it-yourself Christian communities forming in the Bay Area, looking for alternatives to institutional churches and what its members see as their passive rituals. As other Christians attend church Sunday, ReImagine members will celebrate Easter by heading to the beach.

“The modern version of worship, of sitting on a bench and being read to, is on the way out. It’s boring everybody, including the pastors,” said Matthew Fox, an Oakland pastor and author of several books on spirituality. “People are hungry and thirsty for something to touch their hearts and souls.”

Researchers at the Ventura-based Barna Group, which studies trends in religious beliefs and practices, have seen alternative Christian groups rise in popularity. About 6 percent of adults surveyed last year said they met regularly with a self-governed Christian group, and 33 percent said they had attended a worship service outside of a conventional church in the previous month.

Read the full story at sacbee.com.