Maybe it once did, but not anymore. Atleast not in its current version.
Ans yes, as a pastor of a church, I see the irony of all this.
It’s possible this is just my cynical side coming out after getting a long weekend with friends and family and wishing I was back at home drinking tea and snacking on Trader Joe’s Gorgonzola crackers, but I don’t think it is. Whatever it is, I am increasingly convinced that church, or atleast the way we do it, does not work.
It doesn’t work because the world has changed, we’ve changed, and how we understand the message of the gospel has changed.
We live in a globalized world. The newest generation (iGen/GenZ/post-millennial) knows what’s going on at all times all over the world, it’s the only way they have lived their lives. We can no longer compartmentalize God or our faith as we once did now that we know all that we know. We can’t continue to do short-term missions when we know the long-term harm that they can cause. We know that most people don’t find God in church buildings any longer, they find God all over the place. And most people have rejected religion for simply being spiritual because religion comes with a set of rules that box some out, for the most part, religion fits neatly into the current patriarchal society and not one that values all people.
Christianity is supposed to be radical and against the mainstream. Maybe that’s what’s finally coming to fruition with this larger move to towards the spiritual and not religious. Being spiritual doesn’t mean that we just meditate all day or we can’t nail down what it is that we do believe. I think being spiritual in the world simply means that you don’t let religion get in the way of your relationship with God.
All I know is that church doesn’t work in the way it once did. So, are we willing to redefine the definition of church, not in the hypothetical, but in the real-time actions of those of us who adhere to religions? Or do we just ditch church and go be spiritual in the world?
I don’t have answer, but if you do, by all means, sharing is caring.