…the more we stay the same.
There has been a Time’s article on rural churches. It is quite interesting. It laments the dying rural church, and the inability to provide for a full time minister.
This has had me thinking of a couple of different things.
First off, I’m sadden by the loss. There is a great historical loss in all of this. These are great, historical land marks, passing away into dust.
I’m saddened by the loss of community. Frankly, the churches are dying because the communities are dying. For religious institutions to prosper, there has to be a group of people there to support it. As communities become smaller, the churches follow suit.
I’m saddened at the thought that so many good ministers won’t be able to take these churches due to financial reasons. I’ve got student loans to pay off, and I know of many others that are in the same boat. I have a family to feed. These are the cold hard facts of our existence. If I’m to be called to a place like one of these rural churches, I would expect them to help me find a job to earn my bread by. Bi-vo seems to be the way to go in the future…especially since churches are dying everywhere and not only in rural areas.
However, I also am expectant. Just because the “church” as we are used to it ceases to exist, it doesn’t mean that the “Church” ceases to exist. Just because God isn’t moving in a manner that we are used to, doesn’t mean that God isn’t moving.
Granted, there is some fear mixed in with it. My whole education was for preperation for ministry as it has been done. There is a very real possibility that my education will be worthless in God’s future Kingdom Economy. That is scary for a person trained to be a professional. But, my peace and security doesn’t rest in my education. My peace and security rests in God.
Even though the future may be dim to me, it isn’t so to God.