Future Church: Another Perspective

Carey Nieuwhof, lead pastor of Connexus Community Church, recently shared his thoughts on how the church will evolve over the next decade.    Nieuwhof identified 11 traits that he believes will be common among those congregations that have a significant impact over the next ten years: The ability to say no Outsider focus Quick decision making Flexibility A willingness to embrace smaller to become bigger A quicker, lighter footprint Valuing online relationships as real Read More …

Dealing with Change

May has arrived.  One of my routines as one month draws to a close and another begins is to ensure I have completed all of my tasks for month that is ending and to review my planned activities for the upcoming month.  As I look at the month of May, I realize it is a time when I will experience several significant changes, including: teaching a course (perhaps two courses) I have never taught before, welcoming (and working for) the first ever dean of online learning at Hodges Read More …

You Never Know

This past Friday Cleophus J. LaRue, Francis Landey Patton Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Seminary, spoke to a group of Southwest Florida clergy.  While much of what he said was helpful, one quote was particularly memorable: "We never really know the next big thing just around the corner that will change our lives." So What? We are challenged to live well each and every day.  While we can and should plan for the future, we must remain flexible and humble recognizing that Read More …

New Direction for the Catholic Church

A recent Pew Research Center poll finds that US Catholics are split on whether or not the next pope should "should maintain the traditional teachings of the church" (51% favor maintaining the traditional teachings while 46% hope the pope will move the church in new directions).  Among those who hope the next pope will move the church in new directions, the top changes desired are 19% - become more modern, 15% - get tougher with abusers/end sex abuse, 14% -  allow priests to marry, 14% Read More …

A Challenge to Change

Cynthia Rigby, professor of theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, recently contributed to Bill McKenzie's Texas Faith Blog on the topic of whether or not religion has lost its bite.  Rigby's words are appropriately challenging for those who follow the way of Jesus: The point of true religion is not to notarize our behaviors, but to challenge us to change.  The Gospel pulls the rug out from under us and our ways by telling us we should do radical things such as share our Read More …

The Church in 2020 – Major Changes Ahead

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the landscape of American Christianity since the 1950s.  Any time I make a presentation on the topic, people always ask about the future.  In order to more fully answer those questions I devised a list of changes I believe to be most likely.  The original list was created in 2006, before I entered the blogosphere. When I revised the list and turned it into a "top ten" in 2009, I published it on my blog.  In light of significant changes in Read More …

More Variety in Worship or Not?

Jim Moss is the pastor of Clarksville Presbyterian Church in Clarksville, VA.  He and I have interacted from time to time via Twitter, and I appreciate his willingness to discuss big issues.  Recently, he reflected on a conversation he had with several others via Twitter about the future of the church.  More specifically, he was surprised to find less openness from progressive clergy to the possibility of pursuing alternative styles of worship as one of many avenues toward the church of Read More …

New Ways of Being Church

One of many signs of the increasing awareness of the importance of technology for ministry was The Clergy Journal's April/May 2011 edition's theme: Technology and Community: Building Community.  Keith Howard, past executive director of the  Emerging Spirit initiative of the United Church of Canada, and Aaron McCarroll Gallegos, executive producer of wondercafe.ca, contributed an article entitled "Technology and Community Building," which includes these challenging words: Social media creates Read More …

Review of Church Diversity

Meet the Author Scott Williams is a pastor, ministry consultant, social media guru, and champion of diversity.  Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week is his first book.  Recently, Williams served as Campus Pastor of the Northwest Oklahoma City Campus of LifeChurch.tv, which grew to an average weekly worship attendance of over 3,500 during his tenure.  Prior to entering pastoral ministry, he gained professional experience in his work as a prison warden (serving as one of Read More …

A Leadership Check-Up

Seth Godin is the author of twelve books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change, and work.  He earned his MBA from Stanford, and was called “the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age” by Business Week.  For more information visit his website or read his blog. He recently posted "Seven Questions for Leaders" Do you let the facts get in the way of a good story? What do you do with people who disagree with you... do you Read More …