Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empty Churches

I was reading a little by Dan Kimball last night (he's a big emerging church guy) and he said something that I had never thought about but was so obvious I feel dumb for missing it.

All the time we talk about change at our church. We're even possibly in the midst of a big change. And all the time people want to keep things the way they are. Inevitably though, if things don't change, that means no new people and an empty church.

"But that will never happen to us" we say. "We still have people in churches and there are new churches and mega churches and all sorts of things." That's true. For now. What Dan pointed out that made me shake Lorie and tell her this is good stuff was this. To think a little longer down the road.

His example was European churches. Those big, wonderful, ornate, amazing buildings. A few hundred years ago those were thriving groups of Jesus-followers who gave to their church and community in such ways they built those big beautiful buildings. And now, they sit empty Sundays. During the week they are full, only because they now are nothing more than tourist attractions.

That phrase "those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it" keeps going through my mind. I hope we in America are not so arrogant to think it can never happen to us. Those who live like it will never happen to them, it usually ends up happening.


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