It’s easy to blame church problems on COVID. But many trends were impacting Christian churches a long time before the pandemic. Historian and theologian Phyllis Tickle describes it as “Every five hundred years, the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale.” Methods and programs that once nurtured faith in congregations no longer connected with many people, forms of worship seemed hollow, structures that once supported vital activities now suffocated people’s souls. There were similar trends with Sunday night, prayer night, Sunday School, vacation bible school. Christian education taught guidelines but did not form believers who look like Jesus. Then COVID came and sped up the decline. Where is the Jesus movement heading? In this series we look at signs of life for clues and a church of the future.
January 15 - Passionate Spirituality (John 1:29-42) We constantly receive messages from family, friends, and advertisers about what makes a meaningful, significant, and successful life. Even church communities apply peer pressure about what makes a true “Christian” life. Why cultivate an inner life and choose activities meaningful to us when settling for someone else’s answers is expected and rewarded? Can participating in regular worship help us find our way? Can worship help us face the fear of failure and the disapproval of others on a journey toward integrity? We will observe communion together this week.