a different world … and how the church will respond.

Please take 6 minutes to watch this powerful presentation, created by high school student Karl Fisch and modified by Scott McLeod. I promise it will be worth your while:

We live in a different world than anyone ever imagined would exist. And it grows flatter and smaller every milisecond. The fact that you are reading someone else’s thoughts and watching video right now is a big case-in-point. I hope you watched the video above. It’s startling, really. I found myself saying over and over, “Wow. I didn’t know that.” Things are changing so fast, it’ll make your head spin.

This new, changing world we live in must inform how we as believers see our place in it. Doing the same old things yet expecting different results would be insanity.

Let me offer a few suggestions:

  • the smaller, self-organizing structures will be the ones capable of riding the waves of change in this new world. think movements. think networks. think grassroots. one of the newest and hottest business books right now — “The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations” — makes this case for organizations. could the same principle be applied to church structures? (I hope to read and blog about this book in the next few months)
  • the Shalom of Jesus has never been more relevant to a harried world than it is today. we must not back down from preaching it, with our lives first (that’s the hard part!).
  • we Christians in the West are the absolute last people on the planet to “wake up” to the realities that when Jesus is allowed to lead His church — not man — the gospel is an unstoppable force.
  • new media (the Internet, mainly) will not replace, but will complement (in some significant ways) the current and emerging manifestations of Christian community in the United States. in fact, it is already happening (blogs). we must be awake to that … the world grows smaller and flatter every second, thanks in large part to new media.
  • Western dominance on the world stage is not a given for the remainder of history … or even this century. the video above should have hinted at that. every empire in history has fallen, and the world climate certainly suggests that the world will see a new top superpower sometime in the next 20-50 years (if not sooner). is the Western church ready for both a gradual dismantling of institutionalized Christianity and an influx of radical baby “revolutionaries” into its fold? or, will the [evangelical] church largely remain wedded to the Empire until the bitter end…?
  • perhaps most importantly, followers of Jesus must recapture the radical nature of their master’s life and words and missions by living out the “red letters” of their Bibles first and foremost. the Christian has really two postures in a United States that is growing more post-Christian (few seem to be “joining up” … and millions are leaving the church each year) and ambivalent to the ethics of Christ: 1) buck up and try to yell louder than the heathen, picket and protest a lot, start getting the Focus of the Family action alerts, and basically burrow deeper in the cocoon or 2) “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
  • We must be people of prayer.

What would you add? Take out? Why?

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Conventional church, as we have done church, for the past fifty to sixty years, leaves me feeling empty and frustrated and longing for more. I need the mininstry and spirit of Christ in my life. I need the power of prayer in my life. I am just now beginning to see hope that all the above may be recoverable. It will not look like what we have done in the past. My frustration is that instituitonal church is so slow at adjusting to a lightning paced changing world that I fear we are going backwards and I feel panicy that we will loose out. How does one go about finding the peace of Christ in such a fast paced world?

    Reply

  2. I would like to have way to show your video in class this Sunday. Please send me a link that I can download the entire show to my system because we are not online in that classroom.

    Donnie Clark
    Deacon of Technology
    Van church of Christ

    Reply

  3. […] video below is worth watching again (I posted a way less cool version way back in 2007), if only to remind us that the world in which our parents came of age does not […]

    Reply

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