Beginning this Sunday, I want to put a series of ideas in front on my congregation and brainstorm them together during Sunday School.  You can listen to the podcast audio here.

I am working on a clear way to present ‘Church 2.0’ or ‘ChurchNext’.

We will start with some history about different ways that the church has looked in different eras.

  • During the middle-ages it was primarily through sacrament.
  • 500 years ago the Protestant Reformation made it more about preaching.
  • Lately, music has become the main focus of the church and the primary way that people connect with God.

Here are the two really interesting things about that:

First, in each new era, the previous way still hangs around – it is just not as prominent.

So in the reformation, sacraments were still present but just not primary. Preaching was the main attraction.

Now in the ‘music’ era, we still have preaching and sacraments (for the most part) but in many circles they are secondary or driven by the music.

Second, I truly believe that we are about to enter a very different expression. This future of the church is going to be in:

  • participation
  • contribution
  • collaboration
  • conversation

Eventually people are going to get tired of being spectators at a weekly spectacle.  In so many other areas of life, people’s participation really matters. They get to contribute their unique insight, perspective, and experience. Then they come to church, sing the songs on the screen then sit and listen to a TEDtalk style sermon (I am being cheeky here).

If that works for people, I celebrate that and congratulate them. I mean them no harm … but for so many other people it is just not satisfying.

People are walking away from the church in record numbers – nones and dones are the fasting growing segment of religious affiliation on the most recent census data.

But there is a different way to do church that opens up the conversation to inquiry and doubt … it facilitates a thoughtful space to ask difficult questions.  That is my hope for doing church this way and for becoming a conversational community.

So why do church this way?

  • Why de-center the sermon?
  • Why utilize music to punctuate the gathering?
  • Why have sacraments once a month?