The future Church?

Current Affairs / Religion

No Church? No Problem – Christianity Today Magazine:

“Storm the barricades! According to researcher George Barna, we’re in the midst of a ‘spiritual revolution that is reshaping Christianity, personal faith, corporate religious experience, and the moral contours of the nation.’

Who’s leading the coup d’état? Some 20 million people, dubbed Revolutionaries, who live ‘a first-century lifestyle based on faith, goodness, love, generosity, kindness, and simplicity’ and who ‘zealously pursue an intimate relationship with God.'”

I’ve seen this article referenced a couple of times this week across the blog-sphere. It’s pointing out an important observation. Congregational life is rapidly decreasing as the primary way for people to make contact with their faith. We’re seeing a decline in the membership of almost all denominations in this country and yet a marked increase in the number of people looking for spiritual resources on the web, in spiritual direction and even in traditional religious communities.

I suspect that there are significant macro-economic forces at work here that are more than simply holding to a “valid” theological view. The communications revolution and the rise of suburban isolation is creating a generation of people who know they need God but who are searching for experiences of the holy in the easily accessed, anonymous virtual world.

I’ve often wondered if clergy are going to end up soon ending their working as quasi-counselors and return to the more mystical and evangelical roots of their profession. It may be that as congregations slowly dwindle, clergy will move their ministries online and function as writers, visionaries and mystics.

The only hard thing to figure out is how to make a living doing that…

(Via Christianity Today.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...