5. The Church Is at Its Best When We Are Counter-Cultural
The church doesn’t hold the reins of power well. We’re better off in the role of a burr-in-the-saddle of the culture than the conquering hero on the stallion. Let's leave that role to Jesus himself.
6. The Church Is Bigger than Our Buildings and Our Denominations
I do believe that we will lose many church buildings in the coming decades. It will be especially challenging for churches like mine – small congregations with full-time pastors and a mortgage in a big city. I also foresee massive problems for many denominations. (But I don't need to be a prophet to see that one, do I?)
I sympathize with those who love their church's historic building and/or denomination, only to lose one or both. But I’m grateful that buildings and denominations are not needed for the church to survive and thrive.
In fact, we may need to lean on our buildings and denominations less in order to lean on Jesus more.
7. The Church Is People Who Love Jesus, God's Word and Each Other
This is one the main reasons the church thrives under persecution. It forces us to turn to what really matters and can never be taken away – loving Jesus, the bible and each other.
8. The Church Has Faced Bigger Problems Than This – Whatever Your "This" May Be
We tend to magnify the severity of small pains that are close to us, while diminishing the reality of much larger pains that are further removed from us. Whatever your real or perceived church crisis may be, it is not, as I’ve seen written way too many times lately, “the greatest crisis the church has ever faced.”
There have been bigger problems than this. But the church is still here.
9. MY Church Is Not THE Church
My church may be tied to a particular worship style, theological stance, historical background, denominational identity or any of a wide variety of other distinctives. But the way I worship is not the church. It’s just my little corner of it. If the way I like to worship becomes less popular, that has nothing to do with the strength of the church as a whole.
In fact – brace yourselves – even if the church in America collapses, as tragic as that would be, it would not mean the end of the church.
Jesus has sheep that are not of this fold.
10. Maybe the Parts that Can’t Survive Shouldn't
Anything Jesus does will not just survive, but thrive. Eternally. So I have to wonder, if my favorite form of church is dying, maybe it’s because Jesus isn't building it?