What if No One Comes? More Decline in the Mainline

Fewer and Fewer Worshippers For the last several decades, membership in mainline denominations has been declining.  Over time, membership has become a less helpful statistic in part due to a change in how younger people view church membership.  Given these changes and others, church attendance has become the sociological standard measuring growth or decline.  Lovett H. Weems Jr., distinguished professor of church leadership and director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Read More …

Religious Knowledge in America

Religious Knowledge in America I encourage you to test your religious knowledge by taking a fifteen question multiple choice survey.  Once you complete the survey you will learn how your religious literacy compares to those who participated in the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey.  The results of the survey suggest the average American isn't very knowledgeable about religion.  In fact, the average participant answered exactly half of Read More …

A Youth Movement in Pastoral Ministry

Many mainline denominations face or will soon face clergy shortages.  As a result several denominations have and others are in the process of creating guidelines that allow multiple paths to ministry especially to facilitate providing enough clergy to fill pastoral positions in smaller congregations.  Young clergy in their twenties and thirties are increasingly rare and makeup a small percentage of the clergy in any given denominational tradition, especially in traditions where a seminary Read More …

A New Day in the PCUSA

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is one of several mainline denominations reconsidering what it means to be a denomination in the twenty-first century and how best to organize church governance in an increasingly postmodern world.  In recent years two thirty-somethings have been elected to the denomination's top two posts: Moderator and Vice-Moderator. The thirty-nine year old Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, currently the founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco, served as Read More …