Feed on

Source: Richard Rohr’s Meditation: Incarnation instead of Atonement

A short but rather profound reflection on the meaning of the Incarnation versus atonement theologies. If I might say, the Franciscans are quite Lutheran in their theology.

A hard, honest look at why people are really walking away from church.

Source: Dear Church, Here’s Why People Are Really Leaving You

An honest and sobering appraisal of the 21st Century Church. Baby Boomer contemporary has run its course. The tight binding of tradition and doctrine of 19th Century Revivalism and decision theology survives as judgmentalism. People are hungry for mystery, relationship, and grace.

Is the church up for it today? One wonders.

What leaving and returning taught me about church.

Source: Why I Go To Church Even When I Don’t Feel Like It | RELEVANT Magazine

Discover the real purpose of church.

Source: Stop Waiting for Your Church to ‘Feed’ You | RELEVANT Magazine

Its one of the most tired excuses pastors are given but this is good reflection on how we can better address it and raise up mature Christians. But it all flies in the face of our culture of consumerism and “church shopping.”

I was listening to a sports radio show on my way to church one morning. The two DJs were doing their usual bit of asking each other trivia questions. One of the DJs asked…

Source: Ministry Matters™ | Why many welcoming churches are dying churches

Welcoming is a passive activity, the “Field of Dreams” approach of build it, they will come, welcome them when the arrive, they will stay. That is distinctly different from being missional. Good thoughts.

Several months ago, a Pew Research study sparked what almost seemed like shouts of glee from those eager to declare the impending death of Christianity in America. According to the report,

Source: Are We Finally Witnessing The Death Of Christianity In America? | Zack Hunt

Food for thought.

It wasn’t Professor Plum in the Library with the Candlestick. So what killed Twitter?

Source: Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium

A very insightful peaces on the loss of civility, that social media has produces a more abusive and less free society. The broader implications are that the line between what we never would do in public but try and get away with online as if anonymous is disappearing.

7 churches

“Unless these churches make some renovations, they will eventually be empty.”

Source: 7 Churches Jesus Did Not Die For

A helpful reminder that the church is not the latest fad or a generational preservation society.

“You see, when Jesus died for the church, he died for men and women who would function as his hands and feet. He died for sacrificial followers who would be driven by love, motivated by joy, equipped with a message and led by the Spirit.”


Source: 3 Reasons Contemporary Worship IS Declining, and 5 Things We Can Do to Help the Church Move On

Its interesting how the above 50 crowd still thinks “contemporary” worship is where it at to attract “young people.” Mainline congregations are aging and yet in their tradition, they have one of the things that Millennials are looking for – participatory worship grounded in the older tradition of the Church. They aren’t interested in a band show, they can go to other places to hear better bands and they want deeper relational content and context then a performance hall with a stage and light show.

The puzzlement of why contemporary worship isn’t drawing young people is that the question is now being asked by Baby Boomers who invented contemporary worship when they were young. Now they are the retiring generation and the “young” generation is fascinated by Mad Men, ancient worship, and Civil War era beards. Their music and their lifestyle is not compatible or interested in 1990s praise and worship or a prosperity Gospel. They are looking for authenticity, relationships, a connection to a meaningful past, and a Gospel to get through the difficulties of debt, strained relationships, and serve a fractured world. Good article.

Thom Rainer

I am seeing more congregations move to the singular worship style approach.

Source: Six Reasons Some Churches Are Moving Back to One Worship Style

Thom Rainer is another writer I enjoy. Theologically a little different as a Southern Baptist but he is a keen observer of church culture and trends. This move back to one style of worship article is also pointing back to the Millennial shift to more traditional worship, what Len Sweet and others call “ancient future” worship. For my tribe, Lutherans, it can bode well if we can do our style of liturgical worship in ways that are both well and welcoming. The search is on for something more than praise and worship or congregations that are trying to do more styles than they have gifted people and leaders. A good read.

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