One of my favorite parts of summer is sitting outside by the fire pit and just enjoying the scents, sounds, and life that continues to go on around me. It’s not exactly quiet, but it’s serene. I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the church lately. “Church” meaning the whole of Protestantism in the United States and Canada.
I think we’re on the verge of some pretty major changes, that we can either hop on board with or we can continue to bury our head in the sand and eventually die. It’s so hard to think about things dying, about ministries and places that we have worked for and been a part of for so long dying.
But it’s much like a fire, isn’t it?
In order to have the flames, the fire to cook s’mores or food, the warmth to heat our chilled toes on a cold night, something has to die.
I don’t believe that ministry was created to run stagnant, to do the same things year after year, decade after century, with absolutely no changes to it. Good, healthy ministries last for a time. But at some point, we have to adjust in order to remain effective.
But what exactly do those adjustments look like?
I honestly don’t know. I would love if I did. It’d give some kind of serenity back to the question of what does the future hold? What does the church look like in 20 or 30 years?
What we have to do now is prepare ourselves for these transformations that we know are coming. We have to be alert for when we feel the niggling of God leading us in one direction or another. And right now, right right now, we need to sit by the fire with a roasting marshmallow, the crickets chirping, the cars driving by, and we need to dream.
We need to dream in ways we never have before.
We need to dream with God.