preacherman

Monday, August 10, 2009

Changing To Meet the Challenges of the 21 Century

The church from the first century on has changed in a dramatic way. I think the church has changed over the centuries in order to survive and meet the needs in that particular culture. I believe that Christ wants us to change when we meet Him and to do what we can as believers to reach out to those who need Him. He doesn't expect us to stay comfortable. He demands we get out of our comfort zones and take up our crosses for Him. I strongly believe that this could be century where believers and the church can made a true, dynamic, authentic influence on the world. In order to do so we must be willing to bring the church and other believers into the 21st century. We cannot live isolated. We cannot live sheltered. We must get out and live Jesus Christ to everyone we meet. Living a life of love, mercy, forgivness, patience, and grace.

Do you agree that if the church is to survive then it must change and be willing and ready to meet the challenges of this century? When I say change I don't necessarialy mean mechanics or outward appearances (which may change if need) but inner beauty and life of every member of the body of Christ. Do you think that the church needs to change inwardly as well as outwardly to meet the challenges of the 21st century? What challenges do you personally think we will face as believers and the church this century? How should the church change this next century? How would you like to see it change? What is your church doing now that is reaching believers and non believers?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

25 Comments:

OpenID westcoastwitness said...

Amen to this post.

Methods change - principles don't. The church's principles and core doctrines should never change or be tampered with, but the methods we employ most certainly should change according to the time and place we find ourselves in.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Dusty Chris said...

Preach it. Yes. Yes. Yes. The church has to change and will change with the changing world. God does not want a bunch of fat, lazy pew sitters...He wants to take us on an incredible journey. If we allow Him to run our show, great and miraculous things will happen that will draw people to him. We most churches currently do makes people yawn or dismiss us as irrelevant.

We are either going to be a religious group or a spiritually minded people...we can not be both.

12:48 AM  
Blogger cwinwc said...

The "radical" change for the church of this generation is to spend more time being the church outside the walls of the church building. As far as a biblical concept that idea isn't new but I think in our culture it is or at least we're still working on the practice of it.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

The challenge is to remain relevant. Sadly some sects in the US church have been marginalized because of the dogmatic political rhetoric of a few. Maybe the only way to really be relevant is to simply love people?

10:50 AM  
Blogger nAncY said...

we must be willing to listen.

learn how to listen to God speaking to our heart, through the Holy Spirit.

more listening and less self interest.

the church will survive.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Church? What do we mean when we use that word in the context of this post? Do we think churches of Christ only? Do we think of the churches in America? Or are we thinking of the mystical body of Christ composed of everyone who is actively trusting Christ as Lord?

Only in America and a scattering of other countries is the "church" (body of Christ) not living as first century people. Recently two women were executed in N. Korea for handing out Bibles. Every day our brothers and sisters are being persecuted at threat of life in China, N Korea, Singapore, and many Muslim countries. They are 24/7 sold out and will not bow a kneww to other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

As for getting out of the building and into our communities... Are we nuts? We are out of the building except for a few hours a week on Sunday and perhaps Wednesday night. The problem is that by and large we are undiscplined and not much different from the world about us.

What is needed is not trying to be more relevant, or better programs, what we need is better Christians.

Royce

5:48 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

(sp) should say "knee"

5:49 PM  
Blogger jel said...

howdy preacherman!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Dwayne Hilty said...

There is a Latin phrase that seems to sum up the heart behind your post..."ecclesia reformata semper reformanda" (the church reformed and reforming). In other words, the "church" is the people of God who have allowed Jesus to reign in their lives and drastically change them already to his Kingdom. But this change (conversion) is not the whole picture, and our lives are propelled into a state of continual transformation (process).

Different cultures, different language, and different window dressing to be sure. Same sin problem, same Savior, same resurrection hope...absolutely.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, the "Church" needs to change, not for the 21st century, but for the 1st! As others have said in their comments, most Christians have left their first love, choosing to partake of this world, instead of being separate. We should be IN the world, but not OF the world.

I've long realized that modern "church" worship is not at all what is described in Acts (I need to do a post on this!), and most churchgoers don't take the time to study God's Word, becoming lax and easily swayed by false doctrines and the sinful word around them.

God has become irrelevant to many people, because parents often fail to teach their children The Way.

"Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates" (Deut. 11:18-20).

12:51 PM  
Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I'm just going to tackle the last question, "What is your church doing now that is reaching believers and non believers?"

Our singles - usually about 20 out of around 100 - gather every third Thursday of the month and thoroughly clean up a transient home for the working homeless (until they can earn enough to afford to buy or rent). They also pull a trailer-sized grill and cook out for the residents: hamburgers, hot dogs, sometimes steaks.

Nine couples/families in our church have adopted or serve as respite care givers for children given to the care of the county. Some are kids of a different race than their new parents.

We operate a free Family Life Center with walking track, gym, aerobic exercise room and weight training room, open to the public five days a week, 8am - 9pm. Several of our new members have come to us through this opportunity.

That's just a few ways.

12:18 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I first want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments and adding to this discussion.

I agree that we must change with a changing world.
We must change method.
We must change message if needed in order to be relevant to the world who needs Christ's grace.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Agent X said...

Kinny,

this is your old buddy in Lubbock, Mike, formerly known as Messianic Gentile. I wanna invite you to offer your thoughts on my recent post regarding the Catholic Church. Looking for discussion from various angles...

mikez-blog.blogspot.com

thanx

Agent X

8:12 PM  
Blogger raja said...

Doctrines should never change.We need to obey the rule of God.But our mission preach the hole counsel of God through Jesus Christ in 21 century.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

raja,

Doctrines never change but our understanding of them do.

I'm curious, what is the whole councel of God? Do you mean the Bible or do you mean coC traditions? Many people who use that phrase mean exactly that.

Royce

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