I’d like to use the multilayered buildings in the computer generated set of the 2012 version of total recall as a metaphor for church traditions and expressions.
As a designer who is fascinated with space, i was intrigued by how the set of this film had been designed to include the buildings of present day london (or above, current day Australia) with futuristic apartments and other buildings on higher levels.
It made me consider how the church has many traditions at its core and the huge number of more modern expressions that have popped up and developed over the last couple of hundred years. I’m excited by the rush of people heading back to monastic rhythms and celtic spirituality which perhaps could be seen as some of the core expressions from yester year. There seems also to have been a resurgence in the number of intentional communities and I’m only 2 weeks away from beginning a 3 year contract at Lee Abbey which has been running since the 1940s.
Fresh Expressions, Pioneer Ministry and other emerging expressions of church are changing the way we engage with religion and spirituality. Perhaps this type of church gathering is the next level of buildings in our total recall metaphor, so what is the future?
The floating levels of building in the film are the most futuristic – so what do they symbolise in terms of the church? What does the future of church look like? The traditional forms and expressions of church will most likely continue to stand the test of time but other ways to be church will develop. I expect online forms of church community will continue to grow, perhaps with more interaction or making the most of virtual reality technology.
Personally, I think the real future of the church will be interdenominational or non-denominaltional (as the postmodern generation like to be called) expressions that create sacred space wherever it is needed. I believe the church is going to need to take spirituality to the people rather than continue to try and invite them to whatever we are doing ‘on our patch’.
Final Thought – how are we going to engage with the new technologies that are non space specific? what apps are the church creating? what online spaces? how will we utilise augmented reality? Do you have any thoughts?!