Your Grandma’s Church is Closing

Creativity is a foundational part of the worship experience of Yahweh. Most early theologians define God as the sole creative force in the universe, and they determined those things created were from divine origin while those things derived were of human origin (Berkun, 2010). As the church, the sole conduit for spiritual growth in relationship with God, we should be striving to be creative and innovative, particularly considering the historical point of transition we face.

The history of the church shows significant points of change showing God’s progressional purpose (Leithart, 2014). From Abraham’s journey (Gen. 12-24) to Jesus’ sacrifice (Lk. 23) to Luther’s thesis (Gonzalez, 2010) to Azusa Street (McGee, 2004) the church has modified and changed. We are seeing it again and the church is going to be forced to find innovative solutions.

We are seeing a rise in a post-Christian population who are no longer attending classic institutions of Christianity, but still warm themselves in the glow of the setting sun as they live by the dying light of the traditional church (Paas, 2012). Their interest waits for innovation to catch up and serve them where they are.

This desire of post-Christian seekers is compelling ministry leaders to try new ministry methods such as digitally connected churches whose congregants live all around the world. Ministry leaders are diving into social justice initiatives such as human trafficking, clean water establishment, and third world education efforts. Churches are moving away from mega sizes and seeking out a smaller existence in exchange for planting multiple locations to better serve the busy lives of their constituents (Boyd, 2011). These changes exist on the fringe currently but are gaining steam and leading toward the closing of churches resistant to change and initiatives of nontraditional church plants that are as varied as those planting them.

References

Berkun, S. (2010). The myths of innovation (1. updated and expanded pbk. ed). Beijing: O’Reilly.

Boyd, B. (2011, June 11). The Future of the Church: 4 Predictions. Retrieved from http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/151324-brady-boyd-the-future-of-the-church-4-predictions.html

Gonzalez, J. L. (2010). The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day (2nd edition). New York: HarperOne.

Leithart, P. J. (2014). The future of Protestantism: the churches must die to be raised anew argues Peter J. Leithart. First Things, 245, 23–27.

McGee, G. B. (2004). People of the spirit: the Assemblies of God. Springfield, Mo: Gospel Pub. House.

Paas, S. (2012). Church renewal by church planting: the significance of church planting for the future of Christianity in Europe. Theology Today, 68(4), 467–477. https://doi.org/10.1177/0040573611424326


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