People have a tendency to get willfully locked into their way of doing ministry.
In so doing, we end up loving the particular way that we do church more than the particular people our church has been called to reach.
I’ve said many times before that if the 1950s were to make a comeback, there would be all too many churches who could go on without missing a beat. The good news is that they found a ministry strategy that works. The bad news is that the only people they reach now are seventy years old.
Before long, the ministry strategy is as old as the congregation and the church that once thrived with innovative ways to reach their community has now shriveled to a handful of people that have completely lost touch with the surrounding neighborhood.
Now, church is more than a body that engages its community. It should have certain biblical marks and should be focused on eternal purposes. However, it must also must take the faith it believes and live it out in context.
Church Should Impact the Community
There should be a difference in the community because the church exists, and if it left for some reason, there should be a void that’s felt. Unfortunately, that’s not often the case. We become more about church preservation than community transformation.
Perhaps no one sees this more keenly than church planters. Many are entering communities with a church presence that is long gone. They find it easier to simply start a church, with new, innovative strategies that will engage the modern community.
This alone will not solve the problem, however. Should that church survive another fifty years, they could find themselves in the very same position as the dying churches around them.
Solely pursuing cultural relevance is not the answer. Relevance is a tool; gospel proclamation is the goal. When we pursue relevance as the goal, it leads to an unhelpful pendulum swing in church culture.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today