Paul Sparks will be with us (The Practicing Church) this Sunday, September 24th for an important time for our community to envision and to dream about what it means for us to the church in our neighborhoods. And you will not want to miss this. It's going to be good!
See Paul believes that something invisible and yet revolutionary is happening in the church, if we have eyes to see it. In his article, Finding Church On The Ground, Paul refers to these radical shifts in the church.
Take the United States, where I live, for example. Below the clamor of the political circus, something profound is happening on-the-ground. Researcher George Barna, who has been regarded as the most quoted person in Christianity, designates a movement within the church of twenty million by 2020 and growing exponentially.
Though perhaps premature, he calls this group "revolutionary" in the sense that their way of life uproots "established systems" and includes "a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure."
The Paradox Of The Parish Church
Here is the paradox of what Barna calls the quiet revolution:
"The media are oblivious to it. Scholars are clueless about it...Christian churches are only vaguely aware that something seems different, but they have little idea what it's all about."
Over the course of the last decade, my work with Parish Collective has taken me to over 800 towns, neighborhoods, and villages across the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, and Australia. Joining worship gatherings, sharing meals, and walking the main streets and public spaces I too have discovered this strange phenomenon.
In literally every neighborhood, the number of parish churches, missional communities, and small groups of friends weaving a fabric of love and care on-the-ground is growing exponentially. Yet, their work goes largely unnoticed. Even these groups themselves often have a perennial sense that they are on their own.
This article, Finding The Church On The Ground is too good to miss. Read it here.