Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book, “The Tipping Point” is about large-scale changes which seemingly happen overnight, and how they occur. Change often creeps up slowly, then reaches a tipping point, where it gathers momentum and spreads rapidly. It’s like pushing a rock up a hill, painfully and slowly, then watching it pick up speed and momentum as it hurtles down the other side.
Change is happening in the church as we speak. You may or may not be aware of the simple church movement, the organic church movement, the missional movement. In the past month, I’ve attended two meetings in my city where entire denominations are exploring new, discipleship-centred models of church. There is a steady movement among God’s people worldwide towards a fresh expression of church, towards participation, engagement, involvement and empowerment. There is a rumbling discontent amongst pastors and churches, and a Godly longing to make disciples instead of filling pews. The majority of God’s people in every denomination are uncomfortably aware that the system is no longer working.
The rock of change stands poised on top of the hill, ready to start rolling down the other side. Change is close at hand in our world and in our churches. The only thing stopping it from happening is our belief system about what church “should” look like.
Tomorrow’s church isn’t going to be about buildings, and rows, and big stages with bright lights. The mindshift required for this new era involves moving from rows towards circles. From monologue to dialogue. From product to process. From audience to participants. From lectures to learning. From performance to facilitation. From leaders to disciples. From meeting together formally to messily living side by side.
Change is a funny thing. It happens in some areas faster than others. It might not look exactly like the picture I’ve painted in these blog posts. But it will happen.
It’s already begun.
The other posts in the series are now up;
- Introduction: Changing the way we meet, the way we learn and the way we lead.
- Part 1: Welcome to a new era.
- Part 2: Participation changes everything.
- Part 3: Rethinking the seating arrangement.
- Part 4: Connecting through story.
- Part 5: Food and fellowship.
- Part 6: From spoon-feeding to hands-on learning.
- Part 7: Learning through shared experiences.
- Part 8: Discovery learning in church.
- Part 9: Digging deeper into God’s story.
- Part 10: Hand them the ball.
- Part 11: One leader, many teachers.
- Part 12: It’s time to shift your mindset.
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