I hate repeating myself.
I am exhausted of others repeating themselves.
I am over hearing the same thing about the church over and over.
The church is changing. The church will not look like the church from the previous generations. The church is going to look different. These are facts. For many, they are scary, terrifying facts.
Here’s the catch: the change isn’t going to come easy. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s going to take a lot of introspection and figuring out who we want to be in the world. It’s going to mean admitting that the PCUSA is shrinking. It’s going to mean that we have to decide if we want to put out little fires all over the place as damage control, or set a huge blazing one that we stoke and allow to spread like the Holy Spirit on Pentacost. It’s going to mean getting real honest with ourselves and one another. It’s going to mean tears. It’s going to mean a lot of love. It’s going to mean imagining that church can be something totally different that what it looks like now. It’s going to mean the possibility or rebirth and resurrection. It’s going to mean reconciliation and redemption. (There will be a lot of “R” words in there as you can see…)
What’s the future of the church going to look like?
Well, I have no idea. And I find that to be sublime; on the edge of terror and excitement all at once for the possibilities.
But I know that the more we repeat the same old “Millennials are leaving! We need a new young pastor with a young family to come and bring in new young families to our church so we can grow! We need to focus on this or that [instead of what the community is silently crying out for]!” then we will never be able to pay attention to what the church is, today.
So, let’s stop repeating ourselves. Let’s start being and living into what the church can be now so maybe the future of the church won’t be such a scary unknown for so many.
Let’s imagine and wonder out loud.
And now, I’ll stop repeating the same thing so many are trying to say.