The church of the future ... is now?

Posted in Faith

2020 has certainly been a challenging year and its impacts are still being felt across communities and the church.

On September 12th this year, David Gardiner reflected on an article that he wrote back in 1995, which took a look (with a certain amount of humour) at his thoughts on the church of the future … given the year that we have experienced he was not far off the mark!

Yawn. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to getting up early for church. It’s good to catch up with friends. But worship is the real reason we get together each week.

Of course our church, like most is ‘virtual.’ We all meet via our computer communications link. Sure, you miss out on actually being with other people. But there are advantages.

You can attend your own church, no matter where you are in the world. It allows people with disabilities to participate as much as anyone. What I consider the biggest advantage is that you can ‘tune-out’ those noisy kids!

On reflection, I guess modern church life has changed a lot over the years.

Today, we had communion. I think my replicator is on the blink, because the wine/grape juice was an uncharacteristic luminescent green.

The minister’s message was pretty good. I do appreciate being able to fast forward over the boring bits. I don’t know how people used to cope when they actually had to sit through a whole sermon.

The use of hypertext scripture readings, multimedia and 3D real-time computer animation are commonplace in the sermons of today. They certainly add a new dimension to understanding the Bible in today’s society.

Like most churches, we are often struggling with our regular giving. Accepting all major credit cards has helped, though. But I’m not so sure about the floating of our church on the stock market. Next thing you know the CPI will stand for the ‘Consumer Prayer Index!’

And another thing. Call me old-fashioned, but I do prefer those tried and true choruses – I can’t relate to all these modern techno-sampled tunes we have in church now.

Well, I guess things are always changing – technology, language, people. But God never changes. God’s still as relevant today as in the 1990s.

(Article first published in the August 1995 edition of New Times.)

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