It’s the end of the Church as we know it (and I feel fine)

September 29, 2004

[the end of the world]Sorry I haven’t made it here in awhile. It’s not that I don’t have anything to blog about… it’s that so much life is happening that I find it difficult to write about it in a timely fashion!

Take my chat session with Will Samson last Friday night… Will came through here, and I began reading his blog regularly, so I decided to “meet” him. I shouldn’t be amazed at how it is possible to “meet” online and “talk” about real things, to make a genuine connection with someone who is not physically present. After all, as Doug Pagitt pointed out at Soliton, we’ve been doing this for decades over a contraption called the telephone.

For me, the nexus of our conversation was a phrase Will used in a recent posting: It’s the end of the Church as we know it. We talked about how this will be terrible for some people and wonderful for others. I had to leave our chat to tuck in my kids, but the phrase has stuck with me and haunted me. Could it be true? In Meyers-Briggs land, I am a Sensor and not an Intuitor — and all my senses tell me that it is true, and that the hope of the church lies in the future, not the past.

Note that this is not the end of the Church! But it is the end of the Church as we know it. As I related my “conversation” with Will to my wife, we found that this phrase is a paradigm-buster, opening our minds to brainstorm in new ways. A church that might not be recognized as a church — what might such a church look like? What forms would it take? As we sat in a pizza joint on Saturday discussing this, Kay looked around and said… why couldn’t a church facility look like this?

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

3 responses to It’s the end of the Church as we know it (and I feel fine)

  1. Way back in the day, when I was visiting different churches to see what I thought sounded right, I went to a church that did look like that. they were building the big beautiful building, so, for like 3 years, they met in pizza joints and other such places. We even met at Disneyland at one point.
    They had a rock band that didn’t sing preachy music, but music that was just generally “good for your soul” and they didn’t need you to proclaim your faith. They always said, “hey, if you’re just here to check it out, or just for the donuts, that’s cool with us. we’re just happy that you are here.” I never felt over Jesus’ed (does that make sense?)
    Somehow, that one was my favorite.

  2. But Noelle, did they serve pizza?
    As they say over at, “What if church was like your favorite cafe… in fact, what if your favorite cafe was your local church?”

  3. New Paradigm

    I read an interesting post on Jon Reid’s Blog today called It’s the End of the Church as we know it (and I feel fine) Aside from the obvious twist on a classic R.E.M. tune, it is an interesting, but