The Future of Church
Sometimes it feels like everything is changing. Last week I went to the car wash around the corner. In the past, I pulled up, left the keys in the car, and they took the car and let me know when it was done. But this time, I had to stay in the car, ride in it through the tunnel, and then get out for them to vacuum. It seemed like an inconvenience, but as I thought about it, I remembered how I used to wash my own car. It actually didn't take much longer and I got some exercise in the process.
I wondered if they changed their process because of some difficulty finding workers.
Many church ministries are dealing with the same situation. Ministry is changing and is requiring us to adapt. We also have difficulty in finding workers for the harvest.
Everyone loves our Pumpkin Patch, but every year it is a challenge to find enough volunteers to work.
This week, we look at what it means for us to be what is called a "mixed economy" church. It means we are attractional, which is the type of church many of us group up in. We invite people to come to our building for worship, small, groups, and a variety of other activities. But we are also missional, using the church as a center for equipping people to plant new expressions of church out there in the world. In this there is no expectation that they will be part of the attractional church. This can be a difficult change in thinking for most of us who grew up with a different mindset. We are a "both/and" church.
We want to do both of these expressions of church well. To do that, people who are passionate about serving in different areas come together and bring their gifts. We are seeing that this weekend as we have several outreach events. The Pumpkin Patch draws people to our campus every year. While this is not something we call "church", we have built relationships with people in the community and can continue to pray about how we develop those relationships further.
We are also having a Rummage Sale, which served the primary purpose of cleaning out some of our clutter and help us raise some money for our Trustees. We hope to meet new people in our community during this time.
Sunday we will host Trunk or Treat and the first annual Bob Spitzer Chili Cook Off. We hope to connect with people of all ages in our community and begin building new relationships.
I some ways, the more things change, the more they go back to what they were before.
As we begin to ponder how we can meet the people in our community, our church will begin to look more like the church that Jesus started, where people go out and meet those in the neighborhoods, doing the work of teaching and discipling along the way. As a result, more people will experience a wholeness in their lives that comes from the grace of Jesus Christ.