|FPC, Lowville, from Google Maps|
The image is a metaphor, a powerful one. It is not clear where it will lead or what it will look like, but if churches like FPC, Lowville, are going to have a meaningful presence in the rest of the 21st century, they need to become virtual, 8-bit churches living in a digital universe. Every generation of the followers of Christ is called upon to reinvent the Christian faith and the church, but not since ancient times has that task been so challenging, so daunting, and so potentially exciting.
The thing is not that many churches, as a percentage of the whole, seem to be taking on the challenge or even thinking about it. Most continue to do things mostly as they have done them for many decades. When I was searching for a new congregation a couple of years ago, one search committee that I interviewed with was most concerned about whether or not I would wear robes in the pulpit and why I don't use the lectionary. It was a typical mainline church, that is declining in attendance, giving, and vitality—and clearly not a church prepared to live in the digital age.