I love working at a church. There is just something about it. The people: entertaining, generally joyful, and loving. The work: rewarding, varied, and life giving. The mission: second to none.
Being that I spend so much time in a church, I hear a lot of people talking about the church. Right now, the talk is uneasy. Perhaps it is because of the decline in prominence and attendance at many churches across the country. Or it is due to various rulings and cultural shifts taking place in our country. Nonetheless, questions like these are becoming all too common.
What is going to happen to the church?
Can the church make it in our current culture?
What will the church look like in a generation or two?
I would venture to say that these questions all point to a question that so many faithful Catholics and Christians are asking themselves, but are afraid to say out loud.
Is the church on the brink of failure and extinction?
Let’s be very clear on an answer. No. Absolutely no way. Can’t happen. No chance. As people that love the church, let us never believe this lie. And here is why.
“Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16).
The church is bigger than us. It is bigger than any cultural trend or issue. The church is of God, established by God Himself, and He knows what He is doing. In other words, God’s got this!
What if we started living like this is true? What if we had confidence in our church? What if we served and loved more boldly because we truly believed that God knew what He was doing?
At the parish where I am a youth minister, I just took some of my upperclassmen teens to a leadership conference. One of my teens, Bain, said something so profound to me. He said, “Chris, I always run into trouble when my eyes stop focusing on Jesus.” Issues, problems, worries, and doubts come and go. But, if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, we have nothing to worry about.
When it comes to the future of the church, here is where I think we are heading: the best is yet to come. Let us be part of that kind of church