"These empty worship shells scattered around the countryside are the signs of the death of a particular religious infrastructure. ... A particular way of meeting the spiritual needs of our society is disappearing because it no longer meets the needs of our society, ...
The role of the church is to introduce people to the Living God and open them to the transforming power of the presence of God. Gradually we have forgotten to do this. We have forgotten how to do this. We have forgotten, even, that we are supposed to do this. And quite naturally, and quite rightly, the infrastructure we have created precisely to help us to do this crumbles and dies.
The old churches tell me one thing and they tell it to me clearly and loudly: The church must facilitate personal transformation or it must cease to exist. It is time to forget the infrastructure except to the extent that it facilitates the one essential task of the Church. As my Lord tells me, "seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the rest will be added to you as well." "
I think +Kelvin and St. Paul the writer of Romans would get on very well together if Paul happened in his apostolic wanderings to cross south over the Waitaki River.
I want to return soon to the question I posed yesterday about the gospel and Christchurch. But here we have something to think about as we engage with questions of rebuilding our 'particular religious infrastructure.'