In reading through books for my class, it’s obvious to me that the church in North America has lost its seat at the table of influence. Sure, there are exceptions, but the problem is that most of those exceptions are fueled by the fossil fuel of yesteryear not the solar energy of today..
Does any body know what I’m talking about?
It’s as if the fate of the European church (dead churches turned to furniture stores) is here and nobody noticed, or nobody’s talking about it, except a few hippies or community driven, #iamyou millennials with no money and a snapchat account (love them).
The problem is that most churches are sinking but no one knows it, or if they know it, what do you do. I meet pastors and church leaders daily that still struggle with numbers and growth because that’s the metric of the modern mind.
And being small does not make you healthy, just like being big doesn’t make you strong.
There’s a thriving church near the coast of Italy, it’s growing, doing amazing work among the poor, lots of love, great passionate preaching and service to the community. But the island it sits on is the fasting sinking spot on earth.
That’s the American church today, doing amazing stuff, but the floor is falling.
The new metric?
It may not be something we can google or snap chat, we may have to look to Africa, Brazil, Argentina and China to truly know.
So where’s the hope?
First, know that this is normal, this is the way the church corrects itself, it’s happened since the beginning of time. Some churches must die, others will morph, new energy sources will rise (this may take another 10-20 years).
Second, be self-aware and talk about this often even if it means you lose your sense of security (or job).
Third, listen outside your inner circle, listen to Millenials, to African pastors, watch YouTube videos of the Chinese underground church (if you can find them), learn from Korean missionaries.
And if this is why you left the church, you’re not off the hook, use your disillusionment for good not apathy and anarchy.
Lastly, remember renewal is coming, that’s the way of the Gospel, suffering to life. That’s where I find my hope. I just want to be a part of it before it’s too late maybe not for my sake, but for the sake of my children and their children.