Industrialization and AdaptationSep 2nd, 2011 | By Justin Long | | Print This Post |
In recent decades some churches have gotten very good at mass-reproducing new churches. We have a very particular way of doing so: generally, a church planter, a place, a building, some people, a set number of programs (welcoming visitors, new member classes, baptism classes, worship, discipleship, etc).
We take these programs into other nations and other cultures, and for a time they seem to work fairly well–especially as they are paid for by donations from places where Christianity is strong.
Planting churches is not like building cars. Eventually persecution will come, in some form. When it does, it will likely attack the church planting system at its weakest point. In industrialized church planting, there are several of these.
Among these lines of attacks: denying building permits, denying the right to purchase a building, denying organized worship space, denying outreach programs, corrupting finances, trumping up false charges against leaders or staff, denying public baptisms, attacking buildings, etc.
In the face of these attacks, churches can adapt (perhaps by abandoning buildings?)–or they can wring their hands, bemoan the persecution and resistance, and cease any attempt to expand and adapt.
Failure to adapt will lead to death.