Friday, June 7, 2013

Feeling Our Way into the Future

I feel somewhat hypocritical in this posting, because the Christendom organization known as "church" has kept me pretty well-fed and well-provided for for most of my adult life.  But I do believe that we are watching every single part of that organization disintegrate before our eyes.  The higher levels are, to be sure, in a much more dramatic freefall.  But even congregations, the most basic building blocks of all denominational/church organizations, are disintegrating, too.
The difference is that congregations are shedding a skin; the higher levels of the the organization are what by and large makes up that skin.
By the time I retire, the only communities that will be going concerns will be groups of people who are committed to Jesus Christ, and to His increasingly alien understanding of life, the universe, and everything.  They will be places of service and mission.  They will also be resource-starved for the most part.
I am not sure that there will be many who are graduating from seminary now who will have the opportunities I have had.  Ministry, like all forms of this new church, will be a service, not necessarily a financially rewarding one.
Each Christendom organization will leave a "rump" behind, a financial echo of a former presence.  Empty churches kept up by dead people's money will not only be a European phenomenon.  But the people who are about Jesus Christ's business will probably not be in them. A congregation will become a place/people with whom and through whom others can experience Christ's presence, come to understand Christ's perspective through Bible Study, and grow strong and mature through persistent and constant practice of obeying all that Christ commands.
No one in power or in a place of privilege may take that Church seriously-- or if they do, their response may not be different than the ancient world's response to Paul and Barnabbas. But that church, just like Paul and Barnabbas, can change the world.
I see great hope in growing Christians all around me in this part of the Vineyard.  While things will never be what they were, this culture will not remain in the sorry state it finds itself.  Christ's people are rising.  Take heart, and join us.  It's the adventure of a lifetime-- and beyond!

No comments:

Post a Comment