July 29, 2014

#1 Reason Why Church Attendance Is Down – Really?

No, the number one reason why church attendance is down is not pizza. I did think however, that the story of a fictional iMonk pizzeria might help us understand the flaws in the stated reason and proposed solutions that are detailed later on in the post. Imagine you are a neighborhood pizzeria owner.  As the […]

Lisa Dye: Succession Is For Us Too

Succession Is For Us Too By Lisa Dye “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” —The Nicene Creed I remember standing in my old Presbyterian church as a girl, feeling the cool stone floors under my feet and smelling the polished wood of the pews. I admired the gothic architecture, the stone interior, […]

Why I won’t be going to church Sunday

Last week, our pastor announced that we would be having a patriotic service on the Sunday of July 4th weekend. I won’t be there. Let me make something perfectly clear. I love my country, the United States of America. I have no trouble displaying the flag on appropriate occasions (though my wife, with her Mennonite […]

Where there is no Vision…?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .” – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) Proverbs 29:18 may be one of the most misapplied verses in all the evangelical church today. Many a church leader has used it to spiritualize his strategies and blackmail followers into supporting his entrepreneurialism. Vision statements are cast. Mission statements are crafted […]

Church: Not Where We “Find God”

Geoffrey Hill: What is there in my heart that you should sue so fiercely for its love? What kind of care brings you as though a stranger to my door through the long night and in the icy dew seeking the heart that will not harbor you, that keeps itself religiously secure? – from “Lachrimae […]

Randy Thompson: The Church as a Hospice for the Dying

The Church as a Hospice for the Dying by Rev. Randy Thompson Forest Haven, Bradford, NH “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer I recently read an interesting article over at Christianity Today’s Parse blog on why the popular metaphor of the Church as a hospital for the sick […]

Lies, Damn Lies, and [Church Divorce] Statistics

While the phrase did not originate with him, Mark Twain once quipped, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Statistics have always been an interest of mine, and it was my offer of statistical support for Michael Spencer’s “Coming Evangelical Collapse” that resulted in me starting to write for Internet Monk. […]

Reviewing “What is an Average Size Church?”

Chaplain Mike’s post on small churches reminded me of one of the first posts I had made on Internet Monk in July of 2009. As many of our current readers may not have seen it, I thought it would be worthwhile to post again. Based on the last two surveys that were done, the numbers […]

The Dark Side of Small

In forsaking the ability to change, they diminish the capacity for hope. – Kathleen Norris I have often praised smaller churches. I continue to hope in the restoration of community life across the U.S. and the revitalization of neighborhood churches that will bring the Gospel back down to its proper human scale. But I am […]

What is Church?

Chaplain Mike declared in a previous post that he was a Liturgical Christian. I cannot say the same for myself. While I have a lot of respect for liturgical and sacramental traditions, my own significant spiritual growth did not come in a liturgical church setting. In fact, you could argue that it did not even […]