If the church stands still, or worse still tries to go backwards to some nostalgic period when everything seemed to work, then we will find that the very people we are trying to reach will have moved even further away than they are now. So we must move forwards, the only problem is, which way is forwards! Because we are people of our time and our history, we tend to answer this question according to the things we have learned and experienced. Unfortunately that can lead us to answers that won't work in the age in which we find ourselves. The story has changed, life is different, and we need to discover how God's story challenges and reshapes the story of post-modern life.
We need a new imagination of church, but we also need some parameters within which to begin our journey of re-imagining. The good news is that a lot of people are taking this journey and there is a lot of interesting stuff with which we can interact as we shift our perspective towards what it means to be a church deeply committed to following Jesus and fully involved with our community in partnership with God on his great mission.
In this we are all novices. This is not a road down which we have travelled before and it is unfamiliar ground. We might look like we are lost, but we are not. And it won't be quick either. Frank Viola says that the church is not a train, it is a group of people out for a walk. What we know for sure is that business as usual won't actually address any of the challenges we face with respect to reaching our communities for Christ.