Recently I’ve read some quality posts about the future of the American church. Unlike those authors, I don’t write based on the authority of years of church leadership experience. Rather, I write as many of my readers, a lay person who is a member involved in a local church.
See if you can relate to my desires for the future of the church. Here are my hopes:
- We will slow down. American life is fast paced, even in small Southern towns. From my view, it seems many modern churches have adopted the philosophy that constant church action stimulates spiritual and numerical growth. It feels hollow to me.
- We will try to be spiritually deep before we settle for practicality. Nothing is more practical than seeking a deep life in Christ. However, many churches and leaders settle for simple truths and bland statements in hopes of “relating” to their people’s needs. Humans have an incredible need for connection and depth. Because we have failed to slow down (point one), we’ve missed the opportunity to grow some of the deeper facets of a relationship with Christ.
- We will stop worshipping our leaders. The exaltation of speakers and singers has spread like a cancer. Many Christians are growing only as deep as the availability of resources from their favorite Christian. It seems our time scrolling through our favorite pastor’s twitter page holds more value than our time in the Word.
- We will start valuing all spiritual roles equally. Building off point three, I pray that we will start to see the counselor as important as the preacher, the nursery worker as essential as the worship leader, and so on.
- We will stop using “community” as a buzz word and start committing to the long haul. Community takes a long time to build. I’m convinced many churches fail at this because they don’t wait patiently enough for relationships to build over the natural course of time and life.
I am thankful that I’ve heard other Christians my age sharing the same sentiments. I hope we will bring some reform in these areas as Christ asks us to step up in our local churches.