Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of The Refuge in Colorado and leadership team member with TransFORM Network, had a great post yesterday about where she sees the Church in North America headed:
“they will be rag-tag groups of misfits thrown overboard & dreamers who-couldn’t-stand-being-a-tourist-on-the-big-ship-anymore & pioneers who know there’s something better out there beyond the horizon. …
“here’s my hope in the years to come in all of the shifts we’re seeing in ‘church’: that more and more people who-long-for-something-different will bravely jump ship from comfy cruise ships & pretty sail boats and land in some kind of holey dinghy, either one that they inflate or one that’s already out here.
that more and more start rowing in little weird wild & crazy missional ministries and pockets of love, whatever shape or form they take.that more and more will come alongside others-dedicated-to-love & mercy & justice that desperately need help to sustain.
that more and more of those who feel so alone, clinging to a little life preserver by themselves, will somehow find community & hope in all kinds of these rag-tag rafts.
and that more and more of our dingheys will tie up together for some respite & sharing of supplies and to laugh & learn from each other.
I think the statistics show that churches in North America are getting bigger and bigger and smaller and smaller (growing at both ends of the spectrum). It’s the medium/mid-size churches (which make up the majority of churches in the U.S. today!) that are becoming less and less sustainable financially.
So far, churches on the smaller end of the spectrum seem to be more successful at being missional, but there are a handful (and a growing number) of larger churches that are embracing missional and trying to make that shift.
What do you think of Kathy’s exhortation to “big boat” (or “big box”) churchgoers to jump ship?