So Many Life Changes

Whether or not you have ever heard of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale also known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, you are likely familiar with the idea that people who experience many significant life changes in a relatively short period of time are at an increased risk for illness.  This scale is a well known and frequently utilized way to self-assess the amount of change a person has experienced.  Each life change has a numeric score associated with it, and the total of all scores Read More …

Cities with the Most Religious Venues

New research by PropertyShark.com provides insight into the religious real estate found in American cities. More specifically, the findings of their research were published as a list of  American cities with the most religious venues per capita.  The top 10 are Indianapolis, IN Seattle, WA Jacksonville, FL Washington, DC Memphis, TN Columbus, OH Dallas, TX Charlotte, NC Houston, TX Boston, MA So What? The presence of real estate venues designated for religious usage Read More …

Stop Redecorating & Start Making Real Changes

Tom Ehrich, a writer and Episcopal priest, recently slammed the work of an Episcopal task force. For him, the task force's focus on what can be done at the level of the denomination "seems a bit like redecorating and recalibrating the home office of a company in which the home office plays a minor role." The time for that type of change ended decades ago.  The mainline denominations (a group that includes Episcopalians) are a shell of what they once were, and are now "down more than 42 Read More …

Church Building Trends

Carol Pipes, editor of Facts and Trends, wrote a piece in that magazine's Fall 2013 edition on church building trends.  She explored several significant trends, including designing for context, multi-use worship centers, larger gathering spaces, fewer classrooms, and remodeling existing facilities (p.24-26). So What? Perhaps the most important shift of all is with regard to how size will be viewed in the future.  Pipes writes, "Small is the new big in the future."  Regardless Read More …

Sermon: How Much is Enough?

Sermon Text - Luke 12:13-21 Sermon Excerpt I don't know much about barns, but I do know a bit about real estate.  In all honesty, houses have always fascinated me. All you have to do is to start using real estate terms like location, layout, view, amenities, finishes, and cost per square foot and I will gladly join your conversation. So, it is my pleasure to be your guide as we (read the full manuscript) So What? While few people who seek to follow the way of Jesus are consumed by Read More …

WHCB: Church Buildings

Christian Piatt includes church buildings on his list of five things that are holding Christianity back.  He suggests that "they have become an albatross rather than an asset." Reality Check Most American congregations own buildings.  The costs associated with maintaining these structures is significant. In congregations that are in the midst of extended periods of plateau or experiencing years of declining membership, the percentage of the annual budget needed for their upkeep Read More …

Future Church – More Scalable

Church v.2020 - Ten Changes: #9 More Scalable– Less Fixed Costs When compared with the American church of 2012, the future church (v.2020) will be intentionally and strategically more scalable as it progresses toward fewer and fewer fixed costs.  This change in philosophy will be evidenced in many ways, including: A willingness to evaluate the annual operating budget, especially human resources, in light of mission and vision.  In 2012, many congregations spend in excess of 50% of the Read More …