Thereâ€™s a lot of talk out there about some high profile â€œemergingâ€ churches. Weâ€™re hearing about â€œprogressional dialogueâ€ preaching, worship stations, and other innovations. The implication seems to be that these things will characterize the way we all do church in a few years.
Iâ€™m not so sure. I tend to think of these kinds of churches like the concept cars you see at auto shows. Weâ€™ll never drive those cars but some of what is in those cars will be in the cars that you and I drive in ten years time.
The trick, of course, is to figure out what of these innovations will endure. But that is what time does for us. I, for one, am grateful for the innovating pastors who are pioneering new forms of ministry on the cutting edges. But, that doesnâ€™t mean that we all have to live there. Pioneers are always small in number. They also tend to suffer a lot. The settlers who come later benefit from the work the pioneers have done. The settlers also have a higher survival rate.
Iâ€™m not sure what church will be like for most of us in ten or twenty years, but thatâ€™s not the primary challenge for most of us just now. Our job is to offer the most compelling form of ministry for our time here and now.
That is challenge enough for most of us.