Recession seems inevitable, will it go way beyond that? A nation already ruled by fear and over-spending with no margins by individuals and the government, what will be the consequences?
How will this impact churches and mortgages and credit lines that can't be fed? As builders pass on who are the committed givers what is left? 1/2 of boomers are there to give and the other 1/2 are driven past their financial margins with consumerism and can't help. Gen X and Millenials have very little value in long term comittments, are all about instant gratification and consumerism is their native language. Commonly this group of up and comers are living on 125-140% of their income taking on exponential debt per year. What will be the result of these decisions having no margins when the shoe drops?
It's true. We've got to start thinking long term about some of this. The trends do not seem to say that we can fend this off by building bigger, regional churches. Though there is limited success there, I don't see it being a long term fix to a growing problem. I've said this before, but I really don't think the experts have many answers for us. They have too much invested in the Christendom machine. So, it's going to be up to the rank and file folks to come up with the solutions.
For example, I've just been checking out a few video clips of the stuff Alan and Allelon are talking about on their site. It's good stuff. But while it seems to be covering the theological shifts necessary we're still in serious need of how to do the practical stuff. All the while, we watch pastors that have seen the necessary shifts, follow those shifts and sink further into debt and depression trying to figure this out all alone... not a good place to be when you're trying to reinvigorate the Body of Christ.
Both planters and pastors have got to do self-image re-alignment, learn other skills/trades, learn how to be entrepreneurs, become community organizers, etc. No longer can we depend upon our previous economic paradigms within the Church...
This isn't easy. Don't I know it.