So, Thom Schultz suggests that the church learn from Kodak’s failures. This is our “Kodak moment,” he warns. Unless we (1) accept the reality that things are changing and churches are declining, (2) give up trying to simply “tweak” what we do and instead focus on “revolutionizing,” and (3) take risks by acting now and experimenting with bold new ideas, we face a future like Kodak experienced.
Therefore, Schultz exhorts us to re-examine everything we’re doing. To ask big questions. To step out and try something. To boldly step into the future because that’s where God is moving.
Etc. etc. etc.
To which I say, with all due respect, “Yawn.”
This is not challenging the status quo. This is the very definition of the status quo when it comes to evangelicalism, and it has been at least since Thom Schultz started writing youth curriculum back in the 1970′s. It’s the same old church growth mantra: “Change or die!” It’s the same old focus on “catching the next wave” and riding it into the future. It’s the same old emphasis on “relevance” and “effectiveness” and “success.”
Thom Schultz’s article represents the same tired evangelical thinking about the church’s mission and methodology: imagining that what we’re about requires relying on “spiritual technology” to “connect people to God” and build “effective” churches. It’s just plain bad theology, folks.
In fact, it is nothing less than an ongoing denial of Jesus’ words about the organic nature of the Kingdom, which involves seeds falling into the ground and dying so that they may bear fruit and bring forth life.
Though all the world go digital and beyond, building gleaming towers that reach to the heavens, the mission of Jesus proceeds with a quiet, unstoppable tenacity at ground level.
Get the picture?