The Future Church – Greater Variety of Worship Experiences

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 5.    Greater Variety of Worship Experiences Gone are the days when church growth simply meant adding more worship services.  For years, the model was simple.  Churches held a single Sunday morning worship service.  If attendance grew beyond the comfort level of the leaders, then a second service was added.  The second service was a copy of the first.  The same was true for a move from two services to three or three to Read More …

The Future Church – Inclusive

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 6.    Inclusive Church is often viewed by outsiders as exclusive.  The idea that 11:00 a.m. on Sunday is the most segregated hour of the week has been commonplace for decades.  Bouncer (commercial shown above, permission granted to repost) is one of many effective television commercials created by the United Church of Christ that seek to counter the cultural expectation that few are truly welcome at church with an Read More …

The Future Church – More Functional

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 7.    More Functional (Ministry Teams and Task Forces) Any discussion of this change must begin with the recognition of the three primary forms of polity found in Protestant churches: congregational, presbyterian, and episcopal.  In some ways those congregations with a congregational polity will find the changes simpler to make than those with the other forms.  However, it is both necessary and appropriate for all churches Read More …

American Religious Practice and Belief- Test Your Knowledge

How Accurate Are Your Impressions? Many Christians assume they have a basic understanding of American religious practice and belief.  The following 10 statements, answers, and explanations are based on research by Rodney Stark, which is published in What Americans Really Believe.  For a more comprehensive review of that book and an introduction to Stark, click here. Test your own knowledge by indicating whether you believe each statement to be true or false. The percentage of Americans Read More …

The Future Church – More Relevant and Leading Edge

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 8.    More Relevant and Leading Edge For many years, the American church assumed that it was relevant because it existed in a Christian nation.  A generation or two ago, the church was the center of community life.   During this era, church planting often took the "if we build it, parishioners will come" mentality.  Questions about relevance were rarely raised in any formal setting and even less frequently factors Read More …

The Future Church – Less Formal

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 9.    Less Formal Formal Informal Dress up in Sunday best to attend Come as you are (wear what you normally do) Formal titles used when known, especially for clergy and church leaders (i.e. The Rev. Dr.) Names not titles are normative Extensive worship guides/bulletins Limited or no print materials used in worship Positional leadership Functional leadership Join the club Participate in Read More …

The Future Church – Less Real Estate

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 10.    Less Real Estate Over the past fifty years, churches have sought to acquire more land and build more buildings as a growth strategy.  For the average church, excepting office space and school space, most of the square feet within their campuses are used only a few hours a week.  The cost to maintain these large campuses is significant.  Any honest consideration of human resource (custodial and administrative), Read More …

Review of Deliberate Simplicity

Browning, Dave.  Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less.  Zondervan, 2009.  ISBN: 978-0-310-28567-0. Meet the Author Dave Browning is a visionary minimalist and the founder of Christ the King Community Church, International (CTK).  CTK is a non-denominational, multi-location church that has been noted as one of the "fastest growing" and "most innovative" churches in America.  Deliberate Simplicity is his first book.  To learn more, read his blog or visit his Read More …

The Changing Church – Looking into the Future

The rate of change in the America culture is often far more rapid than within the American church.  The church, however, must proactively and strategically consider and act to enable it to live into its purpose now and in the future.  I created a Top 10 List of the changes I believe will be most helpful over the next several years.  I revisit and revise the list often.  The latest revision follows: Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 10.    Less Real Read More …

Review of The Social Media Bible

Safko, Lon and Brake, David K.  The Social Media Bible.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009. ISBN: 978-0-470-41155-1. Meet the Authors Lon Safko is an innovator and professional speaker with more than twenty years experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, strategic partnering, and e-commerce.  He is the founder of eight sucessful companies, including Paper Models, Inc. and LonSafko.com. David K. Brake is the CEO and founder of Content Connections, a company that uses social media Read More …