We have been reading lots of stories over the past 5 or so years about the end of the church. This post is a counter argument.
While it’s true that the nature or form of the church is changing, and I’ve written about that elsewhere. Click here for my paper from earlier this year on that subject. What I want to highlight here is that the tools that church world lives and breathes are needed now more than ever, and I believe will be needed in the future.
Obviously, there is a theological/spiritual/biblical understanding that the church is eternal just as Christ is eternal. But, some have wondered if the current form of congregation centered church has a future. What about social media? What about Artificial Intelligence? What about automation? Yes, these are impacting the work world, but let’s remember that ministry is really centered around somethings that can’t be automated.
Church world is built on relationships, with one another and the Divine.
Technology will continue to change the way we do things over the coming decades in ways we probably can’t even imagine. But church life and ministry will always require:
the correct temperament
the ability to tell your and God’s story
the ability to make the case for the value of your ministry
As I travel around New England, and elsewhere, what I’m seeing is those ministries that hit most of those points have vitality, energy, meaning and purpose. Some of them have lousy websites, never do Social Media but they have a vibrant relationally. They have a connectedness with both God and the neighborhood.
My point is simple, but increasingly we are distracted from this work: Go out and connect with people, build trust, engage in conversation, practice relational prayer. That’s the work that matters, and that’s why there will always be church.