church growth seminar, 101

Just a scattered thought tonight:

From what I understand, my new denomination as a whole is losing members. They don’t know why or what to do about it. Their answer: church growth seminars, coffee shops, activity or family centers, small groups, more missions, nontraditional gatherings and a plethora of everything else anyone can dream up. None of that is necessarily bad, but I’m concerned that the idea of “it worked there, so maybe it will work here” is going to do more harm than good.

If we were missionaries, we wouldn’t sit in Siberia and say, “Oh, but in Zimbabwe this worked, so we’d better try it.” No, we’d learn the culture, the people’s concerns and interests and needs where we were called, and do our best to answer their concerns, interact with their interests, and meet their needs. Why should it be different in America?

So I’d like to say, “Sorry, I’m certainly glad coffee shops work in California, but honey, I hate break this to you, but you live in Kansas. And believe it or not, it’s an entirely different culture.”

The other problem with their many answers is that there are SO many. Instead of the leaders of my church picking one or two that might work here and going with them, they are trying the splatter gun approach, or at least approaching the situation that way–they haven’t tried any of the ideas really, because there are so many. And what has me really shaking my head is that up until this summer’s conferences and all the new ideas, they were experiencing a good amount of growth here. Because what reaches people in the end isn’t coffee shops or family centers or seminars… it’s love.


About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? Baptism!

Posted on October 10, 2011, in Christianity, Meandering thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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