Times were ... when communities were well defined... family structures were easily identified ... people were less mobile ... children developed at a predictable pace ... neighbors were known by name ... streets were safe ... Sundays were set aside for worship ... law and order was the way of the land ... and Churches were an integral part of life and living.
Well, in case you haven't noticed, all of that has changed! Our modern world is not like that. We live in bedroom communities, and commute to the work place. We work rotating shifts, and that includes - working on Sundays. Single parents and stepchildren are more common than the old "one daddy, one mommy, two children" households. Our children know more at the age of 6 than we ever imagined in our teens.
Pre-teens get pregnant and are taught in the schools about the techniques of birth control. Grade school children belong to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) groups. We lock our doors to protect ourselves from theft and personal injury, and we purchase alarm systems and enroll in self-defense classes. Women won't go out after dark alone, and our youth roam the streets in high-powered automobiles.
Law and Order doesn't exist. Sex is passť, even to those in puberty, and getting high on foreign substance is "in." The old saying, "Crime Doesn't Pay" is no longer true. Un-educated, non-working youth can earn over $1000 a day standing on a street corner and selling drugs. If they get caught, a few days in jail is about all the "correction" they will get. But, one thing from the "good ole" days hasn't changed a bit. The Church is basically the same. The Church is still seeking out prime locations in the suburbs and spending millions on fine structures. The Church is still spending thousands on salaries for professional speakers. The church is using the same methods that they used 100 years ago; following the same Orders of Worship, singing the same songs, preaching the same sermons, following the same rules of conduct, implementing the same "out-reach" programs.
In this writer's opinion, it is time that the Church abandoned the Model "T" methods and began addressing the modern day man with his modern day problems. Unless the Church abandons the Church building oriented Programs, and begins securing treatment centers and rescue missions, unless we get more involved in ministry to the people - desperate, abandoned, lonely, and frightened people - unless we become more concerned with prison ministries, street people, drug addicts and rebellious youth, and less concerned with cantatas for the choir and snow retreats for the youth group, the Church will become as obsolete as the horse and buggy. Not only that, our society will just continue to decimate itself!