Sunday, February 25, 2007
The Church of the Future will be more diverse in its expression. A sense of unity was easier to achieve 25 years ago. The Church had a recognizable body of songs and hymns from which it sang. Preaching was presented in a familiar form. Certainly there were denominational differences, but if you were to ask any 10 random people on the street to define church, they would probably give consistent answers that include Sunday morning, a Building, some Singing, a guy Preaching. Unity is something I was, and still am, very interested in, except now I’m trying to look at it from a different vantage point. I’m not sure the Church of the Future will be as easily gathered together for a Worship Night or City-wide Unity rally, at least in this country. I was among the crowd that wanted to rate success by the number of people who would attend these outings. Needless to say, I got very frustrated. One reason is a language barrier. Not because more people are speaking Spanish or Chinese, but because there is a greater diversity of the language of the soul. I might not know your songs if I come to your deal. I may not know what to do with the guy with the Mohawk slapping paint on a canvas during the sermon. And I’m probably going to be weirded out by the call to mass meditation and getting in touch with my inner child with 250 other people I don’t know. These things might work for you, but please don’t ask me to do them with you, unless its in a setting that is conducive for it. The simplicity of our world has given way to complexity, speed and options. These can work in our favor, and to our detriment. My dad joked about the era when he and mom got married; they were too poor and didn’t own a clock, so they didn’t know what time it was. 50 years later, he said, they owned several clocks and still didn’t know what time it was. Like it or not, the future generation will not know what to do without options. And the problem with that is the Church As We Know It thinking that it needs to provide all those options. This is when the program reads like a menu: We’ve got Country Church, Headbangers Church, Coffee Church, Traditional Church, Ham and Cheese Church….. I don’t see this as an answer.