A couple years ago I was reading “The Forgotten Ways” by Alan Hirsch. At some point I stopped. I’m not sure why. I remember around that time I was getting really frustrated with the way church was and I was reading a lot of books about the problems with church but I couldn’t find much support to fix those problems. I think that might be why I stopped reading books about church for a while.
I was cleaning up my office yesterday and I came across this book again. I opened it to the page AFTER my bookmark and read this.
You may or may not already know where I’m going with this. I have seen 2 local churches self destruct due to this very thing over the last two years. That’s right, I said two. Both churches saw compelling opportunity to reach out to more people than ever. Both churches got eaten alive in the rapid, discontinuous change happening around them. The result: in one case a new church was formed, making the changes that the old church couldn’t make, and becoming it’s own entity. In the second case, a new church is now in the process of forming, but it is too soon to tell how things will go (they are still in their first 3-4 months of formation).
One problem, of course, is that neither of the old churches could handle the change, and so the group that could see that they did need to change left. The new parts are now actively growing like the old churches would have been, and the old churches are growing the way they have in the past.