What’s happening in the culture?
Christianity in America has been primarily organized for the last two centuries around a particular institutional model—the voluntary association—that is rapidly breaking down.
Now people are disembedding from voluntary associations of all sorts in pursuit of individual self-expression.
Because of this, norms we once took for granted are no longer the case.
Social expectations of church attendance have decreased dramatically in western cultures. The members that remain are used to the old model, and as a result many aren’t formed deeply in their faith.
In addition, because we are moving out of a culture in which church attendance was expected, most of us never learned how to share Jesus with our neighbors.
The church isn’t the only institution experiencing this. Institutions as varied as scouting to political parties to service organizations are feeling the effects.
The question for the church is: how are we being called to offer a faithful response?