Wednesday, April 07, 2010

being church in a time of cultural change

Flat out preparing for a class on changes in religion in Australia. Amid all the sociological theories and depression over declining numbers, the work by Kevin Ward back in 2002 stood out.

“One of the great points of hope for the church is that sociologists suggest we are moving away from an era of rampant individualism into a new communitarian era .. one in which people bring a strong sense of individuality and will therefore be marked by a high degree of diversity and variety … We urgently need to finds forms of church life that resemble a community of touch teams much more than they resemble the local rugby club … If we are willing not only to give the freedom for this kind of evolution to occur, but also to provide resources to foster it, we may find not only a form of church life that actually engages with and incarnates the gospel into the culture in which we are placed, but also, surprisingly, one that more resembles in essence the church we find in the pages of the New Testament.”

Probably the last thing exhausted ministers might want to read this side of Easter. But it does provide a window on the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection, that sense of impermanence and willingness to meet Thomas in a different way than Mary, in a different way than Peter.

Posted by steve at 05:14 PM