I think most of us agree that we are experiencing a cultural tsunami that is having a profound effect on the church. Alan Hirsch in his book, “The Forgotten Ways”, says that the church is in a state of “liminality”. Liminality is an “in-between, marginal state in relation to the surrounding society, a place that could involve significant danger and disorientation…” (p. 220).
The question we face is how will we as “church leaders” respond to the place we find ourselves in? Critiquing the present state of the church comes naturally to many of us. Could I suggest that we move beyond criticism, beyond deconstruction, and attempt to voice a constructive vision for where we are headed, for where God might be leading us?
Hirsch goes on to say, that, “holding a definite sense of vision (a preferred future) and mission informs and alters how people think and how they will behave in the present. Viewed this way, the future is a means to alter behavior… One does not creep up on a big future. Rather, the future is boldly declared in a vision and serves as the catalyst for all that follows.” (p. 233)
Can we dream the future? What is God’s dream for His Bride as she hurtles toward mid-term of the “new” Century? Can we allow the Holy Spirit to breathe wisdom, discernment, vision and direction about where God wants us to go? Which way is the wind blowing? What does He desire the “church of the future” to look like? How does He want us to function, to “be” his Body in the earth? How can we concretely be the light of the world and the life of the world as we continue into the 21st Century? Be concrete. Be specific.