What would a vibrant mainline church of the future look like? That’s the question we posed to a number of pastors, thought-leaders and bloggers as part of our Future of Mainline Protestantism series here at Patheos. We’ll be posting their responses throughout the coming days here at Faith Forward, so come back often and join the conversation!
First up, Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber offers this response:
Q: “If the mainline church did the right thing, what would it be in 10 years?”
A: “Less. It would be less.” See, the church has bought into corporate culture to such an extent that we can no longer remember who we really are. Following Jesus should never look like growing an empire. So, if we do the right things over the next 10-20 years I predict we will be less. We will stop doing poor knock offs of what the society does well; pop music, play groups, drop-off dry cleaning, self-help, social work. What the church has sole responsibility for – what the culture will NEVER do — is preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments. If we focus on what we are here to do we will be less. And people will still gather in the name of the Three-in-One to hear good news and receive the means of grace and then they will go out and be the church in this hurt and broken and beautiful world.Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran pastor living in Denver, Colorado, where she serves the emerging church, House for all Sinners and Saints. She blogs at www.sarcasticlutheran.com and is the author of Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television.
Read more articles on the Future of Mainline Protestantism at Patheos here.