In this response, I began to realize that as women take their leadership talent and use it where it is appreciated, one of the end results is the decentralization of the church.
My personal question was “am I holding on to an old model (big church), or are we losing something very valuable?”
As I continue my pursuit of this topic, my goal isn’t to fix the problem so much as understand it. Not because we aren’t looking for a fix, but because we want to make sure we are finding the right answers, not just knee-jerk responses to our current societal situation.
There is a current trend toward the local. Since TV began, we have had local news and local newspapers. However, the internet, which gave us a global perspective is turning local as well. Sites like Examiner.com and Patch look at the news right in your back yard.
In this information age, where we can think in terms of reaching millions of people, most online communities are less than 150 people.
With the price of gas, a local focus is on the rise as well. Why drive 5 miles to save a dollar when you can spend buy is around the corner? Cost of gas for driving 5 miles? About $3 (assuming gas at $3.70 and an average of 25 mpg). At some point, the price of gas is bound to drastically change our lifestyle.
So if we drive less and shop locally, then we see the same people more – thus creating a neighborhood community. (A few years ago, we were much more likely to know our barista who lived 15 miles away than the person who lived next door. If we are becoming more locally focused, this will change.)
What does this mean for the church?