LEAD June 2023 | Page 50



Eric Swanson

Early in the Exodus story , God ’ s people are complaining in the desert . The old ways in Egypt were gone , but the new ways of the Promised Land hadn ’ t been discovered yet . The forty years in between were full of anxiety and challenges for God ’ s people but were also necessary to change for the better . Those forty years were a season of liminality : the transitional time between two epochs , or moments , in history . It ’ s when what used to work no longer works , but what will work has not fully been discovered .
The church is in a liminal time . The pandemic exposed the realities of church attendance declines already taking place . But the good news is the pandemic put the church in a place of liminality , one where we realized the old ways of doing church aren ’ t necessarily working anymore , and we ’ re in a time of finding out what does .
Part of our shared liminal experience is that we live in the most digitally connected time in history , yet simultaneously seem more disconnected than ever — from God , ourselves , and each other . How has this disconnection affected spiritual growth or discipleship ? How can churches reconnect in more meaningful ways with their people and communities ? One way is through digitally-powered prayer . “ Digital prayer ” can mean different things like corporate prayer during an online worship service , using prayer apps , or participating