Postmodern Church

I ran into this comment recently in a five-year-old paper by Richard Tiplady, European director of European Christian Mission and principal of International Christian College. He makes a valid observation, I think, about the changing landscape of the church in the 21st century.

If congregation was the normative model for the church in a modern era, then communication will be the dominant theme for the church in postmodernity. The growth in fragmentation and individualism leads some to conclude that community is dead. But I think that this is wrong. It is not dead – it is just different. People still want to be with each other, to find significance in relationships, and to make a difference in other people’s lives. But in our postmodern context this is not expressed so much in organised meetings; it is expressed through constant communication. Cell phones, email, instant messaging, photo and video messaging – millions of European young people have developed new forms of connectivity. It is community based on communication rather than meeting. But it is more than a virtual community, since these young people also meet face-to-face regularly. The network church needs to take this form of communication seriously.

 

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