A Becoming Church
There is a buzz word floating around the past few years in the Church Growth Movement. We hear concepts like Post-Modern, Emerging, Missional, Classic, Traditional, or even the symbiotic movement of each of them and the term Deep Church (Belcher, 2009).
Let me introduce another of those concepts that en-capsulizes the conglomeration of church growth terms. It is the word Morphe. It literally means a transition, special effect, or deconstruction. I like to say that it is both a reality and a metaphor of something. To exist together in actuality. What is real and thought or hoped to be real. In his 2009 book Church Morphe, Eddie Gibbs, speaks of the transitioning of the church.
Let me highlight my thoughts from the book.
Page 9, "Within a changing cultural milieu the church will always exist as 'A Becoming Church'”.
At first thought, it may seem a bit of a stretch, but, this becoming is so biblical. After reading this thought, I was thinking about how Christ and Paul talk of the Morphe it takes to speak into a culture. Beccoming all things. That verse in 1 Corinthians 9 really helped me to see how important it is that we are becoming. The becoming isn’t a change of our axis or tenets, but, merely our prax. Our incarnational approach.
Gibbs may not be making this point directly, but, the overwhelming thought for me is that I want to live my ministry (apologetic or theological) with scripture in mind as my axis. With the changing leadership, technology, and media we see today, the contextual attitude of the church must shape and form (or Morphe) with these changes. Not doctrine and theology, but, context and setting. As social forms shift, is the church willing to shape with this?
Interesting that all types of churches are declining in the West but growing in the East. Could this be because of the missional or Morphe mindset of the Western church? I find it disturbing how our generation really thinks about Christianity and the church. Only 10 years ago the 16-29 years old were overwhelmingly positive about the role of the church in society. Today, merely 16% have a ‘favorable’ view of the church in society.
What has caused this kind of view? Where have we gone wrong in the Christian church? I suggest a few reasons:
OLD FASHIONED OR OUT OF DATE CONTEXT OR SETTING
ARGUMENTS AND NOT RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER RELIGIONS
Thoughts? Are there other things you see as causation? Wy the lack of Morphe in the church? Love to hear from you...