Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese tradition of repairing cracked pottery with real gold: instead of hiding flaws, they are embraced and create a new and deeper beauty.
To consider 2020 through the eyes of the Gospel is to know that God has begun regilding our lives with his beauty! What might church of the 2020s look like?
City Infield, a church research arm of McCrindle research, has recently released a report titled “Future of the Church in Australia”. Having interviewed a range of denominational leaders, researchers identified some sobering realities that churches face, but also some ‘kintsugi’ moments – where God is inviting us to join him in creating something new. You can read the full report or watch the event recording here.
What are the invitations?
- Open. Australians are open to Jesus and Christianity but are disillusioned with what they call cultural irrelevancy. “Generally, people deep down still have a spiritual life, an openness to God in one way or another” (Peter Comensoli, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, ). However, Australians are seeking deep community, connection and meaning. As a church, we have a message that speaks into this space – but that message needs to be communicated with spiritual authenticity and cultural relevancy.
- Going Digital. While research suggests that people still yearn face-to-face experiences, online connections allow people to remain connected despite the busyness of life. The invitation for churches is to discover hybrid ways to use digital connections as a means of supporting and growing deeper relationships.
- Going and Growing. “COVID-19 has shown the importance of personal discipleship and evangelism in addition to centralised delivery from the professional clergy” (report, page 35). The invitation is for discipleship and evangelism to be simplified; an authentic, relational walking alongside people, loving and journeying them into the kingdom. This keeps the Gospel message real, authentic and culturally relevant to each generation.
The report concluded with 11 recommendations for leaders:
- Proactively speak into the national dialogue to share Jesus’ heart for the nation
- Shift the internal narrative about openness to the gospel in Australia
- Show a true expression of community
- Engage the next generation to remain adaptable to change
- Equip churchgoers to serve and lead where they are planted
- Resource the congregation with tools for evangelism and discipleship
- Release leaders to plant church-planting churches
- Implement fit-for-purpose leadership development pathways
- Create opportunities for a diverse range of people to become leaders
- Give indigenous leaders more platform in the church
- Share knowledge and experience about how to run effective services online
The LCAQD Department of Ministry and Mission is available to journey with your congregation as you plan for the future.
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