As a follow-up to my last post, I am reaching back to a post from February of 2015 written by pastor and blogger Carey Nieuwhof. I mentioned in previous posts that one of the jobs of pastors in the 21st century is to be able to read the trends and try to stay ahead of the curve of shifts in the social fabric of the community in which we serve.
In this essay, Carey states that the gathered church is here to stay and I believe that. Recently I was asked about the future of the church and my role in it. I stated, quite emphatically, that I think the brick and mortar church will always be with us, but it is going to look much different in the next decade than it does now. The church of the next decade is going to be smaller, leaner, and ready to take on the world. However, we will also need to come up with alternatives to the Sunday morning worship serve that many of us grew up with.
The other point being made is that consumer church, this is the church where we ask the question about “what can we get out of church?” and “what’s in it for me?” will change. Carey rightly points out that the entire idea behind the Christian message is that we die to ourselves, but we cannot do that of we try and make it all about us. If you are in search for a church that meets your needs you are doing it wrong. The church and church members need to focus more on what is outside the walls of the church rather than what is inside.
Points eight and nine of the essay were remarkable considering when the article was written. These points deal with the online church and community. I agree that the online community will not replace the face to face community we endeavor to create, but it will supplement what we are presently doing. As church leaders, we need to get past this idea that meaningful ministry can only take place face to face. The next generation is online, and we need to be online.
Read the Article Here