2 Peter 3:8-10 says: "Do not ignore one fact, beloved, with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance." NRSV
Loren Mead founded the Alban Institute and published books looking at the different ages of the church -- Apostolic Age (up to about 400 AD) then the Christendom Age - from then to perhaps the mid 20th Century - followed by the 'Emerging Age' which is here and now. Click here to download and read a .pdf file analysing the implications of the Ages of the Church.
|The Apostolic Age
||The Christendom Age
The challenge for the Church in this Emerging Age is to reach the lost and so pave the way for Christ's return - as that is what he is waiting for (see 2 Peter above). To reach an indifferent and often hostile world it is necessary for the Church to reinvent itself so as to present a Changing Church to a Changing world. There is an initiative in the UK, across denominations, headed by Bishop Graham Cray, who has been appointed Bishop Missioner by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. It is called Fresh Expressions - click on link to visit their site.