M. Craig Barnes, the President of Princeton Theological Seminary, has written a piece for the Christian Century addressing the general mood of fear whenever “the future of the church” comes up. There are many factors at play in the decline of churches across the country, but one of them has got to be our obsession with the Church as an organization, and not as a mission. Essentially, Barnes’s argument is that churches need to stop being afraid, and dig into what they claim to be here for: to love and serve their communities as Christ would do, to be God’s instrument for bringing about a society of justice, peace, and love.
Stop worrying about empty pews and start showing the people around you that they aren’t all alone out there. We need more hope around here, not more people fearfully huddled in their corners, for God’s sake.