Thursday, January 14, 2010

(Building + full time clergy) - (people + money) = ?

The State of the Local Church - Part 1: Is the local church disappearing?

Interesting analysis from The Great White North. Widespread churches in small communities around the Plains are well into this reality. Now, it is coming into suburbs and city centers. Certainly, this kind of analysis applies to Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls.

The really interesting question becomes, "What's next?" As the Bible says, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ" (II Corinthians 1:20). The Lord didn't promise a particular form or model of church, but he did say "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20)."

The church will be around, for it is the body of Christ and he is always around. What look will he wear for the new season?

h/t Anglican Essentials Canada


Anonymous said...

Anywhere people of faith gather is a church. If the building becomes the peoples' God, the peoples' priorities are terribly amiss. Many of us grew up with the beauty of a building surrounding us. There was stained glass, beautiful wood pews, sometimes a sanctuary awesome to look at, stations of the cross creatively and beautifully portrayed. If this changes, it will be missed by many. Nevertheless, the church IS the people.

TLF+ said...

Amen, Anonymous! I was just looking at Luke 5:37-39. Jesus tells us that we must be made new - "fresh skins to hold the new wine." But v. 39 warns how challenging will be - "Those who drank the old won't want the new - they'll say, 'The old was better!'"

Same thing happened when the returning exiles rebuilt the new Jerusalem Temple - most were cheering but many who remembered the former Temple were crying about it.