No one needs to be told that our society is changing. We are less and less homogeneous, and less and less like our neighbors. This makes some people nervous, especially about the future we face together.
Church used to be one place where change was rare. That, too, has changed. New churches come and go, and traditional denominations strive to reinvent themselves, it seems. Church attendance is down, and more and more people choose not to attend any church service. Church politics now divide us more than unite us.
There has been much hand-wringing by church leaders over these changing times, and churches have tried different methods to bring people back to the pews, with limited success.
But as society has changed, so, too, must the church change, as churches are a reflection of the societies they serve.
What will the church of the future look like?
I think those churches that truly make a difference in people’s lives will flourish, because people want to thrive. Those churches which merely get together weekly for a routine service will likely continue to decline.
Those churches which feel they have all the answers will find less and less people are willing to accept those answers, unless they lead to transformation.
Some people may feel our society no longer takes God seriously. I think whenever we are working to improve the lives of others, it shows we are taking God very seriously.
When and how we worship may change as our society changes, but love and compassion has never changed, and never will. In my very humble opinion, this is where we will find God, for God’s love does not change. As long as the church strives to love God and neighbor, it will endure. As society changes, the church will always have people who will need its help, because some things never change.