Challenges Facing the Western Church
Brian Russell has a very sobering post today that is worth a good read.
Life in the West goes on and flourishes around decaying reminders of an age in which churches and church attendees held positions of prominence and prestige in their communities. Too many communities of faith live with an ache that their best days are in the past. Congregations age. Neighborhoods transition. Attendance declines. The Gospel can appear powerless before the rising tide of alternative spiritualities, militant secularism, and its own seeming irrelevance. This sense of powerlessness is exacerbated by certain tectonic shifts within the culture. The West continues to become more urban, more pluralistic, more connected with the wider world through technology, and less rooted in the Western cultural traditions (including a basic Judeo-Christian worldview). These outward pressures on the church can be daunting. Many within the Church are responding these shifts by turning inward, by railing against culture, or by losing faith in Christianity.