When I speak at denominational gatherings, pastors often ask me to say something about the future of the church. The subtext of their invitations is, “If you have any ideas for survival, let us know.”
The future of the church is a question that makes it way deep into my bones. I worry too. But the church has never looked less attractive than when it dresses in anxiety. Historically that’s when we’ve made our worst mistakes. Fear makes us desperate. We throw the little money and energy that remains into trendy programs that make no substantive change. Or worse, we become fixated on finding someone to blame for our demise. These are expressions of despair, which is where anxiety lands after it slides to the bottom.