A major assumption behind this "giving up church for Lent" thought experiment is my conviction that attractional church models no longer work in post-Christendom. Church growth strategies designed to attract members with better worship services and programs have a limited return on investment … Read more about Attractional Church No Longer Works
A few weeks ago I made a short video to propose an ignite talk for the NEXT Church national gathering happening in Atlanta later this month. It wasn't one of the five ignite talks selected, but the video has still generated some curiosity and interest. It is very much in line with my theme of … Read more about Church Stockholm Syndrome
College was something of a crisis of faith for me. I was basically a fundamentalist when I left high school. After planning on a career in space physics and applying to schools based on this plan, by the time I needed to decide which college to attend I had felt a call to ministry that I could no … Read more about My “Secret Agent” Spiritual Guide
Every mainline Protestant institution---churches, denominations, seminaries, publishing houses, parachurch ministries, non-profit organizations---has been dealing with decline for decades. Increasingly, this is becoming the norm for evangelical institutions as well. I routinely find myself in … Read more about Managing Decline or Pruning the Tree?
The day of the professional minster is over. The day of the missionary pastor has come. The day of the churched culture is over. The day of the mission field has come. The day of the local church is over. The day of the mission outpost has come. These could be the talking points of … Read more about 1990 Called and They Want Their Paradigm Shift Back
Last week in my evangelism class we read Speaking Christian by the late Marcus Borg. I really like Borg, though I recognize that he's not everyone's cup of tea. It's not perfect, but his articulation of Christian faith resonates with me. One of my criticisms of Borg is that he never moved beyond … Read more about Should Progressive Christians More Aggressively Engage the Culture Wars?
Last Friday in my Introduction to Evangelism class I made a presentation on post-Christendom, a subject that I have been talking about for years. I discussed how Christianity hit its cultural zenith in the United States in the period after WWII and how this influence has been unravelling since the … Read more about Is Christendom Really Over?
I'm on the hunt for good news in mainline Protestantism. The number of baptisms or new members in your congregation is not the good news I'm looking for. Your worship attendance or Sunday School enrollment is not the good news I'm looking for. The total membership or number of new churches in … Read more about Real Good News