Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Dramatically Different Christianity is Just a Short Step Away

The more I read about the post-Christian era in the west, the more I am convinced that a dramatically different kind of Christianity is just a short step away. The well-worn path of how we have approached and measured following Christ, attending church using the church building, meeting in life groups, etc. will have to change if we want to be responsible Christ followers in reaching the world.

Let me share with you some things that are changing in many of our communities and churches. I will be the first to say “I don’t like the change” and “I wish it were not so.” However, these changes are upon us. The question for us is how will we adopt and adapt for ministry effectiveness.

The following are just observations however, if I were a “betting” man I would say that we should begin to prepare ourselves for their actuality.
  1. The speed of change is accelerating. Gone are the days when a change is followed by a decade of the status quo. More often than not, the pace of change on the outside is greater than the pace of change on the inside of the church. This leads to a perilous disconnect.
  2. Every Biblical reference is obscure to almost everyone. A lot of people in the church today have no point of reference. Concepts like communion, Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection are a complete mystery to many. We must not assume an “everybody knows that” philosophy.
  3. It will become increasingly harder to say “come with me to church” and easier to say “meet me at Starbucks.” We need to discover and build a “meet me” philosophy of ministry.
  4. Leader development and encouragement will be decentralized. The pace of life is making centralized gatherings more difficult and less productive to implement. Living rooms and coffee shops are becoming more productive.
  5. Leader training will be accessed on a “need to know” basis and distributed on a “just in time” basis. Advances in training preparation is becoming obsolete. Now we have 24/7 delivery made possible on the internet.
With such changes, how will the church respond?

P.S. Have you ever felt you can’t measure up to the characters in the Bible? Have you ever thought that God is out to get you? Have you ever felt that He has abandoned you? If you have, you won’t want to miss this Sunday’s worship as we wrestle with these questions.

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