Why I Am Hopeful About the Church's Future
http://vimeo.com/104993401 Recently, my friend Steven Siwek interviewed me for his "Future of the Church" web series. His first question was "When you hear that phrase--'future of the church'--what comes to your mind?"
My response, in part, was:
I think the word that comes to mind is "hope." You know, there are a lot of people today who are really discouraged about the future of the Church. They feel like the Church is dwindling. And in some ways it is. When you look at the statistics, you see it all over the place...
[But] I think along with that we've seen the death of cultural Christianity. You look years ago, and if you wanted to hold public office--if you wanted to be a part of the school board or run for superintendent or mayor or for dog catcher--you had to be a member of a certain church. That was how you identified yourself as upstanding....I think we couldn't get our hands around what being a Christian was. I think non-believers couldn't really understand what a Christian looked like because there were so many people who claimed that title who maybe didn't live a lifestyle that was consonant with what it meant to follow Jesus Christ.
What I think now we're having with these shifts is a falling away of that. You might even say--even though it is a strong word--a purification of the church. So that people who claim the name of Christ, many of them or more of them might actually follow Jesus Christ. And it allows us to in some ways to be a minority but to be prophetic, to be pure, to be the people of God who we were called to be. To represent Christ in a way that is going to look a little more radical, it's going to look a little more countercultural. But I think it will, in the long run, represent Christ better on the whole to a secular culture.
For my full answer, check out the full interview in the video above. In it, I also answer questions about what amazes me most about Christ, where I see the sexuality debates heading, how to navigate moral gray areas, and much more.