Changing Churches in the 21st Century

The Church changes in every generation, certainly in every century. There are pivotal generations, however, and I believe we are living in one of those times. The history of the Christian Church focuses on such things as Creeds, Confessions, and Common practices. When people talked about “what we believe,” they most often meant what we can understand and explain – our doctrines and denominational distinctives, for instance.

As the Church moves farther into the 21st century, all that will change rapidly. We already see a deepening chasm between leaders and pastors who focus on these traditional foundations and those who focus on what I call Movements of Changing Churches:

  1. Compassion
  2. Community
  3. Cooperation

“What we believe” becomes more about how we live and how we demonstrate to the world God’s gracious love for all creation. Faith becomes more a matter of relationship with God and the world than a matter of intellectual and organizational uniformity. The Church is changing. The question is whether we will change with it.