We continue to watch a historical trend happen in America. The institutional religious system continues to decline. Fewer and fewer people are attending institutional churches. The biggest decline is in older mainline denominations.
I think many people have decided they don't need church to know God. And that is a true statement. God is accessible to everyone at all times in any place. So many are just withdrawing to isolation or small groups of believers living in organic communities.
I think this is an intermediate step along the path to reformation and revival. The Bible describes a structure and function for the church. Jesus will return to claim His bride – the church. Many are coming to the conclusion that institutional religion is man designed religion. Few are coming back to the Bible's instruction for God's design for the church.
So we exist in a transition period for the modern church. The greatest restructuring of the church since the Reformation is happening right in front of us. Just as that transition took many years, so will this one. Just as with that transition, God is trying to free His children from man-made religious systems and structures.
This transition will not be completed until those leaving the institution return to the Bible to find and follow God's instructions for church leadership, structure and function. Only then will we find our full potential as a chosen people zealous for good works. A properly structured, functioning and led church will bring about revival once again. We must be patient as God does His work. We must be diligent to do our part.
This is truly an exciting time to be living as a follower of Christ.