It doesn’t take a great deal of insight to realize our world is rapidly changing. So much of what we relied on in the past is no longer there. Its often said that the Covid pandemic changed everything. While there may be some truth there in reality it only accelerated what was already happening.
I think much of the American church could be in trouble. The Christian worldview is being challenged and shaken on every side. Things that have been taken for granted in the past are not so certain anymore. Historically, the church has been the center of western culture. That is no longer true. The challenge is to find new and effective ways to engage a rapidly changing and diverse culture.
I recently found this definition of diversity; "diversity is the art of thinking independently together". I love that definition. We love to talk about it but at times I wonder if it’s just talk! Too often, Christians define unity as uniformity. It is scary to a lot of leaders but, diversity is essential to spiritual health and crucial in touching this generation.
Why are we so divided? Why have we become so afraid of honest discussion? Are we so insecure in what we believe that we won't let it be challenged? If someone disagrees or thinks differently, it is so easy to build walls and turn against them. Some issues have become so taboo that being open with one another is only getting more difficult.
Is the church doing what Jesus did? Or are we fighting to maintain our position rather than giving and serving? Are we more concerned about “cultural righteousness" than we are with reflecting the heart of God to broken humanity? Do we care more about our position on certain issues than the people behind the issues? Are we more focused on political battles than we are battling for the lives of the people Jesus died for?
I think those questions must be answered if we are to be all that God has called us to be and minister effectively in a rapidly changing world! We cannot afford to forget that the church is at its best when it gives itself away!