In my last post, I made a comment about being in a crazy world. But it’s more than just a crazy world. It’s a changing world, at the most fundamental level From the unprecedented election of Barack Obama, the first African American, to the unprecedented election of Donald Trump, the first non-politician, one can’t deny ” the times-they are a-changin’.”
I first talked about this change in In1993 in my book, Dancing with Dinosaurs, in which I listed 16 predictions about this change and referred to it as a “crack in history.” Most, if not all, of the things we rely on are going down this crack. We’re living in a time when very little will remain the same.
Consider the changing church landscape in most thriving churches today
- multiple sites are becoming the norm
- more church plants now than churches closing
- focus is more on sending people than accumulating more attendance
- making disciples who make disciples is replacing church membership
- most pastors haven’t been to seminary
- large churches are either working together to plant churches or they are merging to be able to reach more people
- traditional and historical liturgy is virtually absent
None of these practices were true prior to the year 2000.
And how are the politicians and news people handling this upside down world? The same as are most churches established before 1980 – confused and badly upset. Both groups are denying the fact that the world has changed and may never be the same again. Neither group knows how to respond to the trappings of a new world.
To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of the last six months. One thing I can say with certainty – they laid the groundwork for either the best or worse possible scenarios since World War II. And all most of us can do is sit back and watch the future unfold. One way or another it promises to be a wild ride. The same is true in the church world. No one knows at this point whether the changes listed above are just the fad of the moment or whether they have staying power.
So, where is your church in all of this? Are you doing things just like you were prior to 2000 or is most of your ministry new and exciting?
In another one of my books, Unfreezing Moves, I talked about what happens to a church system when it tries to move out of the status quo. One of two things always happens – people become confused or angered. These two things are proving true in both the political and church world. The destruction of the status quo always upsets the apple cart. So maybe both worlds, the political world and the church world, need to take a deep breadth and give the changes a chance to do their thing.