• Share
  • Read Later

(10 of 10)

Liturgies will continue to develop along two lines—the informal, at-home or small-group service, perhaps built around a neighborhood gathering or encounter session, and the bigger-than-ever cathedral celebration. Light shows, poetry, dance and electronic music may upstage incense, stained glass and organ, but the psychological effect will be much the same and just as necessary. Negro and Jewish influences may very well enrich the Christian tradition. As the Rev. J. Archie Hargraves notes, the Negro has two contrasting virtues: "soul" and "cool." He has learned to blend both, which may provide a useful example to white Christians needing to balance the passionate and the rational in their lives. From Judaism, suggests Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum, Christians could profitably take the ideas of "peoplehood" and "holy worldliness," for both may be central in the religions of the future.

To Humanize the World

The ministry will become ever more flexible. Besides team ministries and shared churches, there will be more "tentmaker ministries"* and "hyphenated" priests—lawyer-priests, doctor-priests and others who emulate the Apostles by supporting themselves with a-secular profession and serving a community during their free time. Such ministers, often trained laymen, will be needed to supplement rather than supplant the full-time cleric.

Beyond what the minister may do, what will he be during the next few decades? As material existence becomes more abundant for more and more men, the minister will have to become more and more the guide, energizer and catalyst—the "playing coach," in one cleric's term, the agent provocateur in another's.

An aloof and alien technological society has already shocked man into a rediscovery of his own humanity, with all its hopes and miseries. In every faith and in every believer, there is once again a burgeoning awareness of God—or at least a sense that every man is a priest to his fellow man.

* Named for St. Paul, who followed that trade throughout his life.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. Next Page