I have been hearing/reading this quite a bit lately. The church is losing traction in current culture. Numbers are declining. Alarms are being sounded. Hands are wringing. Church folks are scrambling in attempts to respond. Too late though- comes the word from some circles. The church is doomed.
But I am not buying into the rhetoric.
There is no doubt that numbers are trending downward. There is no doubt that culture has changed. There is no doubt that some churches are way behind this curve and are suffering greatly.
But the church doomed to irrelevancy?
Doesn’t it belong to Christ? Did he not promise that the “gates of hell” would not defeat it? Is not heaven fully vested into kingdom work which is to be carried out by the called out?
I am not worried about the future of the church. I am excited about it. Christ’s kingdom (of which the church is a part) has always been effective in engaging, challenging and impacting culture- and it will continue to do so until this kingdom’s mission is fulfilled and Christ gifts it to his Father. (1 Corinthians 15:24)
So what is up with all the hand wringing? Just look at our younger generations in the church. I see a godly energy and spirit of discipleship within them that is incredible. God is already doing amazing things among them. If that looks a little different then what we are used to- that’s okay. That is God using his people- as he has always done- to engage culture with his Word.
The church will never be irrelevant. Maybe our version of it is in trouble, but the destiny of God’s church is connected to victory not defeat.