1) The completion of a course or cycle.
2) A sudden, radical, or complete change.
Both of these definitions apply to the future of the church.
As for #1 – It is my belief that there is a completion of sorts occuring within the American church today. There is a discontentment, disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the current course of our churches. The cycle of “church growth seminars”, meeting “felt needs”, marketing the church and “supermarket” church programs is coming to a close.
It is my firm conviction that the mega-church will see a decline within the next decade. Churches such as Saddleback, Willowcreek and others like it will level off or decline in numbers and significance. The “franchising” of these churches will also decline as churches seek to express themselves in more relevant ways that do not fit the 1980’s model of the mega-church.
Concepts that have sought to change the church, such as the current “emerging church” are nothing more than contemporary expressions of the the old paradigm. They are a start but often even these churches find themselves emulating ideals and programs (although more relevant) of the old models they despised.
As for #2 – We are on the eve of change. The discontented, disillusioned and dissatisfied are beginning to either demand change within their churches or are stepping out to discover new ways to express their faith. New phrases describing these individuals, such as de-churched or outchurched are beginning to immerge.
These individuals are banding together to radically alter the course of the church. They are not joining together in a building, conference or seminar, but through the internet via blogs and podcasts. They are inspiring hundreds and thousands of readers and listeners to change from the inside/out as individuals first and foremost – then move outward. Their call is not to seek to influence the church, but to influence the world by becoming living examples of Christ to those around them.
This is the church of the people, by the people and for the people. This is not the church of the paid professional (although they are welcome to join our crusade) but it is the church of everyday people who desire to love and serve God.
I am calling for the revolution to begin within each of us. If you are discontent, disillusioned or dissatisfied – join us. Join us and find freedom from the cage you currently call church. Discover with us a church that is not confined by walls or defined by progams or designed by men. It is being crafted and refined by hearts seeking to be and do all that God has created us to be and do.
We are the revolution. It begins with me and it begins with you!