by Daniel Rosenstein

Although the Christian message remains the same, methodology of the church has made changes through the centuries.In 2011, there are expected to be more changes in Christianity. For some long time church goers these changes may be disturbing, but for the unchurched this church news is making a visit a more positive experience.

Churches continue to be more seeker sensitive. While this type of worship has been popular for over 20 years, it continues to grow in churches. In most major cities there will be one if not several churches that are developing along the seeker sensitive style of worship. Churches are learning that church itself should not be about the 99 sheep safe in the fold but the one that is lost. Thus secular music may be piped into the building before services so that the non-believer finds a comfortable place to seek out Christ's claims.

There is a greater use of media in the church. Instead of stained glass, churches are using video presentations. Instead of piano and organ music, there is likely to be a praise band. Even the denominational churches are making changes in their types of worship to appeal to larger groups of people.

The church has renewed its emphasis on grace. As the church becomes seeker sensitive, it has to rely more on grace, because everyone has a past. Because of the forgiveness of God, the church is trying to be more forgiving. Still, this is a struggle for many.

The environment is becoming more important to the church. Environmental issues may be discussed in classes and in worship. There will be recycling bins found in the building where paper and plastics can be returned. Children may talk about the process of recycling in their classrooms.

Church government style is moving away from congregational votes. Like it or not, more churches are allowing a board or elders to make major decisions for the church. Even churches that traditionally may have had monthly congregational meetings may only have one such meeting each year. In many congregations, elders are appointed by an elder board and there is no congregational vote.

While there are many good things happening in the church, one disturbing thing is also happening. By and large Christianity is taking the Bible for granted. Fewer Christians report daily Bible readings. For continued success this problem will need to be addressed in the near future.

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