Thursday, October 19, 2006

What Change?

I have been talking about a big change that the Church is (must?) undergo. Recently I was asked what I meant, what the change was. This was my response, it may help everyone know what to expect from this blog in the future.

The more I've been reading all these online blogs (many of which do not associate themselves with the "emergent" movement), the more I see several movements being felt. Frankly, I don't know what direction the church will go. I have been hearing about a great doctrinal revival in the States. Churches running Sunday Schools that rival Bible College classes ... even youth groups studying Grudem or Erickson. A recent Christianity Today article discussed the revival of Calvinism, but not as a theological system but rather a grass roots, heart felt return to Biblical doctrine. None, or few, of those interviewed called themselves Calvinists, because that pitted them against Armenians. Instead, they are trying to argue against the fallacy that a missional church cannot be a doctrinal church.
Another trend is churches working on moving the plurality of elders into something workable in our culture. Another is the move to lay ministry and church, on a popular level, once again being for teaching the believer rather than saving the lost.
Yet even with the growth of Calvinism and (possible) death (or at least decline) of the seeker sensitive movement, the Church is on the verge of an evangelism explosion. Not one marked with trends and programs, but one marked with daily life or believers. Sound familiar? I think in the next 10 years, we will see a tremendous decline in the physical Church (those who are called by the name) but an increase in lay ministers who define their lives by Christ. So much is this conviction that I dare say I need to find another occupation. While I am most certainly desiring to serve the Church, I fear that I will be a hindrance to assume that I will be doing so while being fully supported by it. I wish, rather, to lead by example how one can work for money, but live for Christ.
I am also hearing the tremors of a student led missionary movement that will rival the early American movement in its vastness, yet be completely different in its view. I see that this movement could potentially exist nearly entirely of only 5 year services. I would hope that this would be enough to plant a viberant church which could then be locally run but discipled from overseas (which is certaintly feasable).
So that is the change I'm talking about.

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