As I contemplate where the church is, in this post-modern culture, and where it needs to be going, I feel a change in the air.
I sense a new wind blowing through the church. I am not smart enough to know what all that means, or to be able to predict the future, but the signs are there. My spiritual senses tell me that a change in the spiritual climate is coming.
I’m not yet sure whether this is a storm, or the just the rains after a drought. But I suspect that it may be the wind of opportunity that promises a new beginning that I hear blowing.
It may just be the fresh winds of the Spirit that will bring the “showers of blessing” that people used to sing about.
Our world and our culture are changing rapidly all around us. With new communication technology and increasing global interaction, we face a world that will be radically different from the one in which we have lived for so long. And our own society is changing. There are new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things.
The year 2016 was just a date on a calendar, yet that date caused us to take a long look at where we have been and where we are going. And when we looked closely, the changes unfolding all around us have surprised us. And in the years since those changes have continued at a rapidly increasing pace.
Of course, some want to see the changes, any changes, as threatening. And so they move into a doomsday mode and adopt a negative view (Think the Jonah Syndrome). They fight most any kind of change as a change for the worse.
There ARE things to be concerned about WITH some changes. But where some people see only problems, others see opportunities.
Change can be threatening!
However, people who study such things tell us that times of change are the best opportunities for people to respond to God. The uncertainty that any major change brings, opens the door to reevaluate one’s life and ask questions of purpose and meaning.
If that is true in individuals, I suspect it is also true of society. And it is true of the church.
Statistics show that there is more interest in religion and spirituality in the US now than there has been in the last half-century. Of course, some of that spirituality is of the weird kind, and certainly not Christian. But that also tells us that there are opportunities to proclaim the Gospel.
Frankly, I’m not sure what all that means for the church. I think that is probably the greatest challenge we face in the coming years as people of God, to find out how to proclaim our testimony to the grace of God in a rapidly changing world. The message has not changed, and the truth has not changed. But the world has. And how we speak the truth will need to change in order to speak to that world.
New winds are blowing. The spiritual climate is changing. The smell of fresh breezes and fresh showers are in the air.
Yet there is risk. For some, there is risk that the newness that God brings will also bring an ending to their way of doing things, an ending of the security of the past. For others there is risk that they will be the ones called to forge into new territory in the power of the Spirit, to announce and help build the newness that God is bringing.
But one thing is certain. There will be no status quo. There will be no going on as usual. The changes that are already in process in our culture and church will not allow it.
We can’t do that just because we decide it should be so. But we can do it as God calls to us and reveals to us where he is working in the world. And we can do it as we listen, hear, and respond to that call, as God enables us.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be watching closely for the changes in the spiritual weather. And I will be listening carefully so I don’t miss the voice of God in the darkness.
And if someone asks me about a voice they have heard calling their name in the night, I will be ready to tell them to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
“The Lord came and stood there and called as he had before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel said, “Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening,” Samuel 3:10.
Author: Mary Lindow
Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.
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