Evolving Church

28 Mar

One thing which can’t be denied is that church is evolving, as it has done on different occassions throughtout the centuries (reformation etc). Most people don’t like change, so it is not suprising that most Christians don’t want to see changes in the church. Let’s face it some church members become distressed at the thought of the chairs being changed, so re-thinking church is really not for them. I’ve been wondering why some christians are against anything with the post-modern, new way of thinking, emergent tag on it. I guess some of it is that if all people have ever known is how they do church on a Sunday morning at 10am, then they really aren’t up for a bunch of people telling them that maybe there are better ways to be church (don’t blame them really, none of us like to be told that our way might not be the best).

I think people have become too comfortable within our churches – they are almost like safe places with nicely tweaked programs for those on the inside or others who might be seeking. Most of us don’t like getting our hands dirty and really getting out there within our communities. We talk about it lots, and think that because we have a few people from our church involved in a particular ministry, such as feeding the homeless, that we are in the community. The truth is though, those people are in the community, not all of us. If “we” were in the community then we would all be out there making a difference, whether or not it meant people became christians. I think this is how church is evolving at the moment. People are really being challenged to live like christians and get involved in social justice issues – challenges which can be uncomfortable. The church should not be about safe religion, it should be growing, challenging and innovating – dangerous.

There are groups of people who are finding our churches to be too cosy and unrelational, so they are seeking a community where they can be loved for who they are, and really feel like they are loving their neighbour etc. I think these communities are going to rapidly grow within our countries as people become more and more dissatisfied with institutionalised church. Church in twenty years will look very different from now, probably more underground. I read a book by Nick Page a few years ago called The Church Invisable which was a story about the future of the church – it was a very interesting read. How do you perceive the church of the future to be?

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