January 20, 2017

Gray Church: Another Ecclesiastical Dream

Note from CM: I was going to write a post today expressing another dream I have for the church: that in our youth-focused American culture our churches might find ways to help people in the second-half of life understand what spiritual formation and a Jesus-shaped life mean for them. I think the traditional churches do […]

What If? – A Few Dreams for Today’s Church

What if? What if churches and Christian organizations had a vision to be “countercultural” in truly meaningful ways? What if we woke up and realized that all our talk about “changing the culture” is empty because we are just as culture-bound as anyone? What if we realized that ideas don’t matter as much as we […]

Fridays with Michael Spencer: September 30, 2016

Note from CM: Michael’s most well known articles were called “The Coming Evangelical Collapse.” I thought it would be good to re-post a few excerpts from these three pieces in light of the other discussions we’ve had this week. • • • Party Almost Over The party is almost over for evangelicals; a party that’s […]

No Good News Here

Let me begin today by saying that, though I have some familiarity with the workings of my particular denomination, I am certainly no expert when it comes to the mainline Protestant church in the U.S. I grew up in the United Methodist tradition and have been a member of an ELCA Lutheran church for many […]

Exodus from U.S. Religion

On Saturday we referenced a recent study released by PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute), called “Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back.” The study looked at a clear trend that must surely get our attention if we are concerned with the state of the church in the U.S. Let’s talk about it […]

Mike Bell: Some Thoughts on Change

Note from CM: Good to hear from our friend from the north country, Mike Bell, today. As remains the case for many of us, the ecclesiastical journey continues for Mike. Here’s his latest update. • • • Seventeen.  That is the number of churches that I have been involved in, each for more than a […]

What about THIS “cutting edge”?

What are churches in the U.S. doing to advance this “cutting edge” ministry? Census data tells the story. From 2000 to 2010, those people age 45 to 64 (the boomers) increased 31.5%. The next highest increase was those 65+, who increased over the same period by 15.1% (source: US Census at www.census.gov/2010census/) It is projected that […]

Church Growth: Pastoral Care

One thing I have noticed about people who promote church growth ideology, and the pastors who who “lead” churches by its principles: They really don’t like pastoral care. And yet, they still want to be called pastors. Take the eight-point list on why churches don’t grow by Carey Nieuwhof that we referenced yesterday. The first and […]

Church Growth: the Organization

Church growth thinking is alive and well, and in the eyes of many, successful. And I suppose it is from a certain perspective. Here is Outreach Magazine’s list of the ten largest churches in the U.S. in 2014: If my calculator is right, these ten churches claim that nearly 244,000 people are affiliated with them. That’s […]

Discussing Scot McKnight’s “How Our Culture Challenges Church”

American culture challenges the church at its deepest levels. In the church the authority is God in Christ through the Spirit but in culture authority resides in the individual and in the will of “we the people.” • Scot McKnight • • • Read Scot McKnight’s article, “How Our Culture Challenges Church.” Scot has written […]