The report Mission Shaped Church describes an increasingly diverse society socially and culturally. It goes on to say: ‘Mission to a diverse world legitimately requires a diverse Church’.
- Can the Church ever become too diverse?
- How might or is your church diversifying in order to meet different needs?
For better or worse the society we live in today is a consumer society. There is an expectation that “I will be able to get what I want, when I want it, in a way that suits me”. This culture has had an impact on how all sectors of society operate, from shopping to politics to the music industry. The “you can have any colour you want so long as it’s black” business model just does not cut it in our post-modern, internet-driven society, diversity and variety are expected and if they are not found then they will be sought elsewhere.
It could be argued that the Church of England is behind the times on this with its ‘insistence’ on set liturgies and forms of service. However I think that one of the greatest strengths of Anglicanism is its ability to hold together wildly diverse styles, practices, and even beliefs under one banner and one creed. To meet the missional needs of a new millennium the Church will have to diversify further and perhaps faster than it has done before but the good news of the Kingdom is good news for everyone and, just as Paul did 2000 years ago, we must become “all things to all people that by all possible means I might save some”.