A couple weeks ago, a few of us Twitter folk (including Carol Howard Merritt, Ben Howard--no not that Ben Howard--and others) met at Michael's cafe, which is home to some amazing cake, and talked about the state of the Church.
We tried to focus on that big-C Church, and we talked about its overall decline in membership and incline in the membership's age, the rise of the nones, and the pesky problem of exclusionary theology. But as we talked in these generalizations, I kept hearing the same refrain--"That's not my experience."
For as many stories as we had about seminary degrees gathering dust and bigoted Christians, we had just the same stories of growth and love and rebirth in what we still could only call the Church, or perhaps more accurately churches.
It reminded me of Monty Python.
Then it reminded me of libraries. Every single stinkin time I tell someone I work in a library and I'm getting my degree in library science, they always want to challenge me about "The Future of Libraries," and "Aren't they all going to be extinct anyway?" Anyone can Google anything they want; we don't need libraries.
That's not my experience.
People still need libraries, just like people still need churches. They both foster the love of truth that is not going extinct, and a place for shared experience that you can't replicate by pointing and clicking.
Churches and libraries are not dying. They might not look the way they used to, but they are still here, and they're sticking around.