Last time, I wrote about: “Blockbuster Declares Bankruptcy.” What happened? Companies like Netflix made it more convenient to receive movies. Other companies like Amazon made it even easier providing movies downloaded directly to your computer or video recorder. Blockbuster slow to adapt reacted with too little, too late and eventually dwindled in size and influence.
The central place to learn about God and live out our faith is the local church. Has the church been slow to adapt to a changing culture? Like Blockbuster, have we responded with too little, too late?
I received a lot of feedback through email and my Facebook friends. Mostly in three areas:
“My daughter says she believes in a power greater than us but cannot bring herself to believe in God and Jesus. She is very ‘new age’ in her thinking. I think we, as a church, have not answered this perspective at all. We have a message as Christians but we fail to communicate it in modern terminology with points of reference young people can grasp. Christian music helps but we need more.”  – Debbie
Question: Are we communicating to those who struggle to believe what we believe?
“I don’t think I am alone in struggling to find connectedness at church. We do a poor job with ‘singles.’ When I graduated from college and moved back home, I tried to join the ‘young adult’ ministry at my church. We tried to coordinate an outing and wound up sharing the church van with the ‘seniors’ group. This is the sort of stuff that happens. We either avoid doing anything for anyone that is not married or we do it poorly. I like people, young and old, married or single. I simply want to feel ‘connected.’  – Deanna
Question: How is our church helping to connect those who feel disconnected?
“Many people are too ‘self-centered,’ even those of us who call ourselves Christians. Everything is always about ‘us’ and ‘our needs.’ When this happens, how do we expect anyone to see Christ in our lives? We, as the church and the body of Christ, need to be more focused on others showing the love of Christ in our conversations and actions. What do others see when they look at us? Do they see a caring, concerned and diligent Christian who truly cares about them, or, someone who goes to church on Sunday and it stops there? Has church become just another social club?”  – Sharon
Question: What do others see when they look at our church and our church members?
Heartfelt letters that attempt to help us understand three problem areas within the church.
·         We don’t communicate in modern terminology to those who struggle with belief in God.
·         We are not helping to connect those who feel disconnected from the church.
·         We appear self-centered and do not reflect the love of Christ in conversation and action.
Rev. Rob Colwell, a pastor in our area wrote: “We have heard a lot about ‘the current financial recession,’ and how challenging it has been for churches and individuals to function. But there is another recession going on in the United States that has been affecting churches far longer and more consistently than the economic downturn. It is the worship recession.”
“The article ‘No Shows’ in Christian Century, reveals there has been a significant decline in worship attendance. We are NOT reaching youth and young adults anymore and even regular members have become less frequent attendees. For me, this article is a call to arms to forget about ourselves and once again make God the priority of our lives. Worship is where we meet God and are transformed by God’s love for us all. Worship is where we learn to forgive and feed one another so we can show the world what God’s kingdom is like. Worship is the mission center from where we can still transform the world.”
Next: Answers