There once was a church, a beautiful cathedral in the middle of the town square. Everyone in the town came to the church and passed it every day.
When people had children, the church blessed the family. When people fell in love, they got married in the church. When people were looking for connections, they made new friends in the church. When life threw people the curveball of sickness and death, the church nurtured and cared for them in their time of need.
But something happened unexpectedly. It wasn’t overnight but a slow change that no one expected. Eventually, the town grew away from the church, establishing new businesses and opportunities further away from the town center.
Suddenly, the church was no longer the centerpiece of life, commerce, relationships, and significant life events. Instead, people merely passed by the church on the way to doing life every single day. How sad, tragic, and immobilizing of a thought.
The church faced a critical fork in the road. They could continue down the same path they had always done, or they could go out and engage the townspeople where they are, in what they are doing.
The statistics speak for themselves. Too many people are leaving the church traditions of their upbringing and not looking back. As a result, more people are less versed in church life than the last four generations.
Churches all over the country face a critical crossroads. They can get hot and bothered by this drastic shift away from the church experience, or they can discern new Spirit-led possibilities of reengaging an ever-changing world.
University Baptist Church has a living legacy of creative Spirit-led approaches to engaging our community. Where we have come from leads us to where we are today as we continually seek new ways to meet and love our neighbors.
From a semi-annual Soccer Academy for children to reading friends mentorships at Highland Elementary School, from advocating for the equal upward mobility of our community through collaborative partnerships to civic engagement around difficult conversations, from hosting English Conversations for internationals to building relationships with new young adults, one meal at a time, and from hosting innovative community events, such as the Drive-In Movie to the Fall Gathering, to nurturing dozens of young families through the MDO, UBC is faithfully following the Spirit of God’s leadership to meet the demands of an ever-changing world.
My prayer is that you will join us as collaborative partners in the many established ways and help us discern the multitude of new ways we can engage our community with the love of God. For we must remember, the church does not exist as brick and mortar but as interconnected relationships wherever we gather.