I read a great blog post about the future of the church from Tony Steward’s Blog. I skim through and read about 80 different blogs using Google Reader and he always has some interesting ideas. He lists 3 ways that church will change over the coming years. He definitely hits on some of what I have been feeling and thinking. The Willowcreek/Saddleback model has been successful and converting people, but it is not working as good on younger adults. When you stop and think about it, what was contemporary 15 years ago is now traditional and not very contemporary. It doesn’t mean that you throw everything out and start all over, but it does mean that you should be willing to change. My problem with some of the emergent and house church models is that they completely discount everything that is happening in the contemporary church. Not everyone lives in a postmodern urban environment, so why should we listen to the critics of the contemporary church who don’t know the community we live in. However, I do think we should continue to tweak and improve on what is working. That’s why I like this post.
Just think about this thought. Every traditional church was contemporary at one time. At some point in time, they refused to change and turned their backs to the culture they were called to reach. I guess that is why I am interested in starting a young adult service. I think that if we are not careful, then we will forget to continue innovating and thinking of new and creative ways to reach young people. Below is a small quote from his post, but check out the rest of the article here.
We are at the point where the Church has finally stopped and taken a look back at the mega church movement over the past 30 – 40 years, and we are starting to see where adjustment is needed. During that time the church has gotten incredible at “packing the house” – and have produced amazing results and numbers. But what I believe our Emergent / Missional / Vintage Faith friends have sensed is the need for “something more.” The problem is that as with any generation they want to throw the baby out with the bath water by changing too much of what has gone well, instead of continuing to modify.
Regardless, what I believe the next 20-30 years of church is going to look like is a resurgence on the focus on sanctification. When the power of the gospel invades someone’s life, and then they are discipled in that faith one on one. The REVEAL study that came out of Willow Creek is the tipping point for this movement because it caught the attention of the boomer mega church leaders that would otherwise have just written the values of the next generation off like their values where by those that preceded them …