When Churches Want a Pastor Who Can “Bring In Young Families” . . . | achurchforstarvingartists

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When Churches Want a Pastor Who Can “Bring In Young Families” . . . | achurchforstarvingartists.

For those who still follow Wired Jesus, recent months have involved several hacks of the site since “the big one” of a year ago. I’m planning on a relaunch in May/June of Wired Jesus 2.0, complete with podcast and postings.

In the meantime, now that the malware problems seems to be settled, I will play around with WordPress and post articles that I want to remember and are worth sharing to other pastors and people who desire a future for the North American Church, knowing its not going to look like the last forty years.

This article is spot on. Not only has the pastor profile dream wish of “someone who can bring in young families” unrealistic, it really never has been because the reasoning is wrong. Why do you want young families? How does that square with the Great Commission? It doesn’t work in dying mainline congregations that are aging out of existence. It doesn’t work on the pomo dream church that is dying as a monogenerational phase. Frankly, it doesn’t work in the megachurch world, which is losing membership as well.

Word of advice. Congregations looking for new pastors would be well served by reading this article and taking it to heart, particularly the following paragraphs. If you want a future for ministry that serves Jesus, you have to commit to living in the future, not in your past, and not even in your present concerns and complaints. Be the church for broken people like Jesus lived where you now live and know that you are going to have to die – die to what you are now, the baggage you are still determined to carry, the control you still want to have. That has to go to the cross if you want a pastor who will walk with you to resurrection rather than congregational savior that can’t live up to your dying expectations.

Words to ponder for Lent indeed.

Young families are great. Old families are great. Families made up of child-free couples are great. Families of single people are great. Imagine if every church simply wanted A Pastor Who Could Bring In Broken People. Now that’s a church.

Also, the days are gone when Young Families were present in worship every Sunday. The statistics are in about how the definition of “regular worship” has changed since the 1950s. (“Regular” used to mean weekly. Now it means once or twice a month.)

Instead of seeking a Pastor who can bring in those vaunted Young Families, we need to call a Pastor who knows how to shift congregational culture. The culture in which we live and move and have our being has changed, but we are killing ourselves trying to maintain a dated congregational culture.

Posted in Leadership Resources, Pastor Stuff, Postmodern Perspectives, The Organized Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving You. Part 2 | john pavlovitz

Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving You. Part 2 | john pavlovitz.

And here we go.

We’re so weary of feeling like nothing more than a religious agenda; an argument to win, a point to make, a cause to defend, a soul to save.

We want to be more than a notch on your Salvation belt; another number to pad your Twitter posts and end-of-year stat sheets.

We need to be more than altar call props, who are applauded and high-fived down the aisle, and then forgotten once the song ends.

We’ve been praying for you to stop evangelizing us, and preaching at us, and fighting us, and judging us, and sin-diagnosing us, long enough to simply hear us…

… even if we are the problem.

Posted in American Culture, Church Marketing, Face Palm - When Failure Happens, Fundamentalism - Preserving 19th Century America For the Future, Generations - Guttenbergers vs. Googlers, Non-Denominational, Postmodern Perspectives, Worship | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving You. Part 1 | john pavlovitz

Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving You. Part 1 | john pavlovitz.

We’re the ones walking away.
We want to matter to you.
We want you to hear us before you debate us.

Show us that your love and your God are real.

Church, give us a reason to stay.

Fascinating. I’m watching for part 2.

Posted in American Culture, Church Marketing, Face Palm - When Failure Happens, Fundamentalism - Preserving 19th Century America For the Future, Postmodern Perspectives, Will the Real God Please Stand Up? | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings

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How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings.

The whole issue of guns, violence, and schools is, if you pardon the word, explosive. In society and among faith leaders, how we should respond to such evil is a quick route to arguments and social positions. Another Lutheran pastor I know posted this article and I agree with what is said here – in the end, this is a mental health issue, a relational issue, one that touches the heart of the Christian faith – theodicy. Mental illness and evil have often been tied together and I think its easier to rail against the symptoms – gun availability, gender issues, bullying, etc… but never really deal with the killers in the way this article does. Challenging.

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Nine Rapid Changes in Church Worship Services – ThomRainer.com

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Nine Rapid Changes in Church Worship Services – ThomRainer.com.

Very interesting study, although I would like to dig into the details more. If it is accurate, then it doesn’t bode well for midsize congregation like mine who now have to grow to 400+ weekly worshippers. If you are are worshipping under 100, you are dead by this assessment.

Posted in American Culture, Church Marketing, Death and Dying, Pastor Stuff, The Organized Church | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Gays,” the “American Church,” and 2 Severed Relationships – Jer Swigart

“Gays,” the “American Church,” and 2 Severed Relationships – Jer Swigart.

There is a fascinating conversation emerging among Evangelicals, an increasingly Millenial/GenX rejection of Boomer evangelicalism that is resulting in a rethinking of the viability of Protestant Christianity in its North American form. Triggered most recently by the World Vision fiasco, Jer is on target in highlighting the growing generational rift over faith and Bible and human sexuality. This is a well thought out piece that is pointing to debate that is going to destroy denominations and those that survive, a generational shift in leadership marked with Boomer piety, liberal or fundamentalist, that will not go easily into the night.

Posted in American Culture, Bible, Fundamentalism - Preserving 19th Century America For the Future, Generations - Guttenbergers vs. Googlers, Homosexuality, Postmodern Perspectives, The Organized Church | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How Does “Dying For Our Sins” Work? – Brian Zahnd

How Does “Dying For Our Sins” Work? – Brian Zahnd.

On this end of Holy Week, we as Christians speak of the power of the cross and the meaning of Jesus’ death. This is an excellent reflection on the death of Jesus, God Incarnate, and why his death and resurrection matter.

Posted in Death and Dying, Jesus the Christ, Pastor Stuff, Postmodern Perspectives, Suffering - When Bad Things Happen to Anyone, Will the Real God Please Stand Up? | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How evangelicals won a culture war and lost a generation – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

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How evangelicals won a culture war and lost a generation – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Its remarkable to watch, the implosion and rejection of Boomer Evangelicalism by Millennials. I really need to get my butt in gear after a one year WJP hiatus because this is incredibly significant what Rachel is pointing out here but its more than just her voice. The entire World Vision fiasco reveals, as she puts it so well:

Christians can disagree about what the Bible says (or doesn’t say) about same-sex marriage. This is not an issue of orthodoxy. But when we begin using child sponsorships as bargaining tools in our debates, we’ve lost the way of Jesus.

So my question for those evangelicals is this: Is it worth it?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth losing more young people to cynicism regarding the church?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with LGBT people?

And is a “victory” against gay marriage worth drowning out that quiet but persistent internal voice that asks, “what if we get this wrong?”

I, for one, am tired of arguing. I’m tired of trying to defend evangelicalism when its leaders behave indefensibly.

I’m going AWOL on evangelicalism’s culture wars so I can get back to following Jesus among its many refugees: LGBT people, women called to ministry, artists, science-lovers, misfits, sinners, doubters, thinkers and “the least of these.”

I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.

The Evangelical movement has become a PAC and Millennials want nothing to do with (nor do many horrified GenXers and Boomers). Now with Joel Osteen’s lavish lifestyle and money machine has come to light, people want Jesus. They don’t want flash, they don’t want to be right over those who are wrong, they don’t want self righteous superiority or a massive concert crowd. They want Jesus. They want people who live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and are every bit uncertain, broken, and questioning as they are.

Evangelicalism is dying, much as the Mainline started in the 80s. Oddly, positions may be reversing and liturical, Sacramental, and small congregations may be our future as megaEvangelicalism starts to wither. Its a chance for us to be be community again, to be church, to be disciples. I hope those of us who lead in congregations can speak it and with our people, learn to wash feet again.

Posted in American Culture, Culture Wars, Face Palm - When Failure Happens, Fundamentalism - Preserving 19th Century America For the Future, Generations - Guttenbergers vs. Googlers, Homosexuality, Postmodern Perspectives, Sexuality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweden’s Pentecostal Megapastor Converts to Catholicism | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com

Sweden’s Pentecostal Megapastor Converts to Catholicism | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com.

Its been a slow trend in Evangelical circles, seeing people and leaders return to liturgical denomination and I don’t see that ending. In fact, eventhough Ulf Ekman is a Boomer, its the Millenials who are increasingly taking a pass on the evangelical models based on entertainment/passive worship. Should be interesting to see how this megachurch responds and adapts.

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The Church’s Frightful Kodak Moment | Holy Soup

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The Church’s Frightful Kodak Moment | Holy Soup.

Today Sunday worship was cancelled because of a snow storm and my wife got the idea that some house cleaning would be in order. In cleaning out a drawer, I found this – a roll of Kodak film. I don’t own a film camera anymore, haven’t for years. But when this popped up on my facebook feed, it seemed appropriate to share and reflect.

Kodak invented the photo industry and the digital camera, and has been destroyed by its inability to adapt to their own innovations or fulfill their true purpose. As the article states, Kodak’s leaders thought they were in the film business–instead of the imaging business. Their clutching of the traditional methodology clouded their ability to think about the real objective and outcome of their work.

The parallels with the North American Church are striking – we too are in decline and too many congregations and denominations are taking the Kodak approach. I’ll be sharing this with my vision team and congregational leaders as we look to a new year. I recommend it to other church leaders as well.

Posted in Death and Dying, Face Palm - When Failure Happens, Leadership Resources, Pastor Stuff, The Organized Church | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment