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August 6, 2008

The Changing Church

I read a good article, Networked Structures: Liquid v. Solid, concerning the sociological state of our church today. As I have said before, the church as we know it is certainly changing and I think that's a good thing. Returning to a more fluid, New Testament definition of church is exciting to me. I have never felt the problem is that we are out of touch with society as much as it is that we are out of touch with Christ. We identify with a local church which in our minds makes us a member of the body of Christ instead of identifying with Christ which brings us into His body and therefore leads us to a local body of believers. The problem is not our relevance to the culture, but our lack of a fluid nature that enables us to be Christ to a dying world.

As I look at the church today, I do not think the solid church is capable of adapting to a liquid, mission model. When I look at those within the church, they are largely unequipped, and unable to change their mindset. They can only move into a new dynamic if they let go and embrace the uncertainty (In their minds) of Christ way. We spend a lot of time encouraging believers to go into their workplaces and communities to be missional, but most of them do not practice living for Christ themselves, so how can they be Christ to others in an often hostile environment? I believer there will be those who are able to die to self and allow Christ to renew their minds, but most who will function well in this new environment will come from outside. They will be those who's lives have been changed and revolutionized by Christ and they have not yet been institutonalized in their thinking.