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New world, new church
April 1, 2013
by Pastor Bill Baldwin, Prairie Community Church UCC, Lester Prairie

What if you could have one wish and could only use it to create your perfect church? What would it look like? How would it be similar or different to what it looks like today?

The Bible says nothing about what church should look like, only that as Christians we are to belong to a local church fellowship and gather together as God’s people.

The Bible says you can’t put new wine in old wineskins because they will burst. (Matthew 9:14-17) Fresh wine needs new skins. I think it’s high time that the church creates a new “skin,” if it is ever going to be relevant in the world again.

What would it look like? Who knows? All things are possible. Jesus said, “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:5) God said, “Behold, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19) I think it’s high time for a new thing in church! Let’s scrap all that isn’t working, that isn’t relevant, and create a whole new thing.

I know, everyone’s scared and clinging to their chairs right now. Change isn’t easy. But how would you like to go back to pre-electric, pre-automobile, pre-Internet and cell phone times? How would you like to give up cable TV, modern medicine, and all the wonders of technology?

Church still operates like it did in horse-and-buggy times. I know, well-known ritual is comforting to some. I get it. But only 30 percent of Americans go to church on an average Sunday, and the number is falling.

The Christian church is dying, Dying, not for lack of the need for God’s lavish, unconditional love, but because we keep on insisting on dragging out the same old wineskins and expecting a new generation to embrace it.

New world, new church, same message of God’s unconditional love. We all need to know we are loved, and we all need support.

So what do you say? What might new wineskins, a whole new way of being church look like? I’m not sure either, but I’m ready to do my part.

It wouldn’t have to change on Sunday morning right away, but there are another 167 hours in each week where we could embrace new things. If interested, let me know. If not interested, let me know why.

Christ is risen, spring is blooming, and it’s a new day, a new season of growth. Together, let’s do our part to usher in a new, fresh season for the church.

Blessings and peace blossom each day, as do signs of spring, and know that God is eagerly awaiting us to join in a new season of creation. Even Jesus would probably find church boring and irrelevant for today.

What would Jesus do?