Shaping the Future of Christianity

Tired of Apologizing and The Great Spiritual Migration

Tired of Apologizing and The Great Spiritual Migration


Some say Christianity is dying.  I won’t argue with them.  If Christianity is defined narrowly and if it should be replicated in every time and place in identical ways then we can rest assured Christianity is dying and will soon be dead.


Christianity, inasmuch as I understand what the Way of Jesus is about, is living.  The only way any person or group of people can authentically live as followers of Jesus is to do so within their time and place.


Sociologists of religion count more than 30,000 unique expressions of Christianity, which some refer to as denominations or traditions.  These groups span the theological continuum.  If you spend the time to look in any depth at any part of that continuum you will find many congregations that are thriving.  You will also find many people living changed lives while changing the world.


As we move into the future, it is important to remember that we are tasked with co-creating evolving forms of Christianity.  Toward that end, I had the privilege of reading two new books in the last ten days:

  • (4.5) The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian by Brian McLaren (Convergent, 2016)
  • (4) Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To by Lillian Daniel (Faith Words, 2016)

So What?

Brian McLaren uses his new book to invite others to join “a great spiritual migration – not out of our religions, but out of our cages and ruts, not as jaded ex-members, but as hopeful pilgrims moving forward in the journey of faith” (p.xii).  Toward this end, Christianity must change as he and many others advocate for changes in content rather than only in style or structure (p.9).

If this way forward intrigues and/or challenges you, McLaren’s The Great Spiritual Migration is well worth your time.  For those still on the fence, ponder the value of each of the book’s three sections:

  1. The Spiritual Migration: From a System of Beliefs to a Way of Life
  2. The Theological Migration: From a Violent God of Domination to a Nonviolent God of Liberation
  3. The Mission Migration: From Organized Religion to Organizing Religion

As you think about your own journey of faith, your congregation or fellowship, and those groups you know best I invite you to think about the future.

  • What needs to change?
  • Describe your role  in helping co-create the future.

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