Help For Those On The Front Lines Of Ministry.

Past Updates

Feb 21, 2011
Mainline Demise--some ramblings and observations

Just finished a good article on the demise of mainline church in the US. It is a timely read for any pastor or parishioner of a mainline church. copy and paste the following url: http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Not-a-Time-of-Slumping-Religion-An-Interview-with-Rodney-Stark?offset=0&max=1

When you have finished reading it what to you think?

I think the facts are obvious. I also think the future is not so obvious. Tomorrow could change the world as it did on September 11, 2001. That being said here are a few of my observations:

Those of us in the US who have thought long and hard about the future of the mainline would do well to learn some of the lessons of the countries where the Gospel is spreading.

Paying people to spread the gospel is going to cost us more than it is worth. If you are a paid staff of a "church" (unless you worship over 1000 on a Sunday) I would recommend you find at least a part time job. If the dollar ceases to be the global currency or gas goes to european standards church will be way too expensive to keep open. We will close more than the 3000 churches we currently close each year.

If you are in a denominational administrative position you will hold on to your job the longest due to your structure. However your job will be seen as a milking of the gospel and your position will be the one most parishioners will resist paying for out of their now limited reserves.

If your church has a great endowment, spend it now. Denominations will be calling for your money to help sustain the structure. (simple, we close the church, sell the property and the denomination gets the money...anything about that your don't understand?)

I agree with the author...the good news is the church is growing all around the world. It just isn't growing under the banners it used to grow under. There is a time for everything under heaven...a time to be born and a time to die. Knowing where you are in that process is crucial.