Change is daunting. Rethinking ideas, questioning practices, and scrutinizing convictions can likely lead to unknown consequences. Our desire for a sense of normalcy can often make even minor tweaks feel monumentally upending. The adage that “the only constant in life is change” extends to all of life, but it is felt in church life in unique ways. To encounter change in our understandings and practice of church is to face something both thrilling and terrifying.
Church is sacred for followers of Christ. It is the living entity where both the mysterious and the concrete coalesce to shape our rituals of worship, craft our expressions of faith community, and instill deep senses of purpose. The way Christ-followers understand and do church goes beyond human conventions; we link it directly to our knowledge of God and our engagement in a heavenly mission. Much is at stake when we study and assess church. Ecclesiological questions- those that examine the nature of church- can carry particular intensity and trepidation.