Back in the day, small communities predominantly revolved around the community at large.
Big city newspapers with big city stories ended up being more of an exciting read than a true sign of things to come. People tended to cling to long-time traditions and an overall familiar way of life. The thought of new thoughts and new ways of life seemed distant and unrealistic.
Those were the days when travel and communication were limited. The world seemed bigger and there was a sense of security within a small community.
In some churches, this mentality has held on a little longer than the world around us. Clinging to tradition and the familiar has become something to be proud of, typically in smaller congregations.
Despite the changes in the world around these church communities, the pause button seems to have been pushed at some point, and as time past a fear of moving forward was established. The distinctives of the old ways gone by eventually became as foundational as Scripture itself.
Somehow, we must find a way to hit play and in some cases, hit fast-forward. It’s not easy in small community churches and we should be cautious in our steps toward progression. If our desires for progression are for personal preference, they will ultimately fail.
These steps forward should be based in a desire to fulfil the great commission, to a world around us that has never stopped moving forward. By focusing on and communicating the call to see our greater community come to the saving faith of Jesus Christ, we will have the successful conversations, projects and events that we know need to take place.
Why do you think some churches struggle to move forward? What are some practical steps need to take place?