People Are Changing Churches. Should I?

Originally posted on The Wittenberg Door:

I recently reposted an article by David Fitch on church cannibalism, that is, how churches often grow at the expense of others. That article may be found here.

Before you think moving on is a good idea, have a look at this by Thom Rainer. One of the problems in transfer growth (church growth by the movement of Christians from one church to another) is that it is often for less-than-good reasons. Before leaving, ask yourself, “Am I seeking to serve or to be served? Do I need more recognition for my service? Am I leaving because the doctrine is sub-Biblical, or because the music is better, or because the experience is just so . . . uplifting?”

Preachers and church leaders, “Am I asking the right questions of those moving to my church?” Are people coming to your church simply because you offer more programs? Have you ever asked Christians to return…

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How Churches Became Cruise Ships

The Wittenberg Door:

Another article that questions trends and their influence in our theology.

Originally posted on The Wittenberg Door:

Passengers no longer board a ship to get from one port to another–that form of transportation has been eclipsed by air travel. But millions do board ships every year as a destination, a vacation at sea, and return to the same port from which they began. In a series of well written posts, Skye Jethani chronicles the rise of the megachurch and its implications for the faith.

“The church-as-destination model hasn’t advanced the church in America, it has consolidated it.Comparing changes in passenger shipping, to church growth.”

There is no neutrality in technology, or method. Every decision we make to do one thing results in a decision not to do another. When Christians embrace a new model of ministry, it is the unintended consequences that are often overlooked.

Read part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

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Sing Much?

We could be approaching a golden age of worship. Technology has the potential to make great music accessible to so many who could not share that experience in earlier generations.  Instead, in many churches worshippers are becoming spectators, while worship becomes the task of experts, rather than the congregation. Some of this can be accounted for by the current trend to create a theatre atmosphere in church architecture (theatre seating, darkness, stage lighting, etc.). Normally, theatres and cinemas do not encourage audience participation. But the church is not an audience! The church is gathered to worship, not observe.

Architecture cannot be easily corrected, but there is much that can be done to remove the “performer-audience” disconnect. Kenny Lamm lists Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship. Article here.

What If We’ve Been Doing It All Wrong?

The Wittenberg Door:

This approach describes what we have been doing, sort of, at Mountain View. We need to be more intentional about it, and certainly not apologetic.

Originally posted on The Wittenberg Door:

What if our entire approach to youth in the church has been in error for over 200 years? That is, most churches, large and small, have neglected to form faith in the young, by assuming it could be done better by others.

Before all the “Fall Kickoffs” get kicked, perhaps it’s time to rethink our approach to bringing up young Christians.

(If you’re like me, you don’t want to be glued to a screen for an hour video–this one works really well if you just turn it on, and listen–hard)

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