Popular culture can be described as values, trends, or other ideas transmitted through mass media that is heavily aimed at younger generations of people. This distribution information shapes how people see the world in a variety of ways, from what types of clothes are in style to what political issues are considered important. While many think of popular culture as mostly an online presence, it is everywhere. Whether or not one is conscious of popular culture's impact on them, we all determine our position within a larger society based on what is deemed "cool" or "popular" and we oftentimes attempt to mirror the desirable image in our own lives to be apart of whatever is trending.
The same is true with religion, especially in regard to organized religious groups. Although religious groups adhere to sets of rules from various higher powers, they still need to be aware of popular culture in order to maintain and increase their followings, and overall power. For example, many churches have revised their opinions on LGBT+ rights and made attempts to acknowledge the LGBT+ individuals within their own groups. While this outreach may be genuine, churches are also reliant on younger generations of people, who as a whole believe in LGBT+ rights more than previous generations, to act as the next wave of believers and keep the church and belief system afloat. Should a church not be in touch with popular culture and not embrace some beliefs that are widespread, whether or not they truly align with the church's view, their overall following will decline. Understanding popular culture when studying religion is vital, for it determines which churches will be successful in maintaining and expanding a following of believers and what churches will decline, and potentially disappear altogether.