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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:10 AM

American churches projected to become more relationship, community and Jesus oriented

It is no secret that more and more Americans are no longer affiliated with organized religion. That does not necessarily mean that they are no longer believers or spiritual in some way, but as the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life pointed out in October, "this large and growing group of Americans is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives."

This trend worries church leaders, who fear America's pews may go the way of Europe, where church attendance has been on a steady decline. Speaking at a summit about the future of America's churches, British church leader and consultant Mike Breen doubted that the American church would go the way of Europe, where the church has withered. He indicated that America's entrepreneurial spirit will provide the drive and the flexibility for the church to survive and thrive in the future.

At the recent Future of the Church Summit, sponsored by Group Publishing, Summit participants predicted a number of likely scenarios for the American church in the next ten years:


1. Emphasis on relationships. Whereas the church and congregational worship today are largely spectator-oriented, the new coming trend will prioritize spiritual growth through personal relationships.

2. Return to Jesus. The current church is preoccupied with the "ABCs" attendance, buildings and cash. A Summit pastor said, "We need to deal with the idols of the church." The coming church will highly focus its mission, goals, measurements and message on Jesus.

3. Community focus. The church of tomorrow will be much more engaged in addressing the needs in the community. The church will be known more for its members' relational acts of compassion outside of church walls, taking ministry out rather than waiting for outsiders to come in and sit.

4. Conversationally oriented. The current church relies primarily on one-way messaging from the preacher/teacher at the microphone. The new church will rely more on person-to-person conversation, sharing messages of God's love with one another. Churches will begin to trade pews for conversation tables.

5. Rise of the laity. Shrinking resources will trigger fewer paid ministry positions and more reliance on unpaid ministry work. The concept of "the priesthood of all believers" will re-emerge.


http://www.goddiscussion.com/104100/church-future/

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Reply American churches projected to become more relationship, community and Jesus oriented (Original post)
cleanhippie Nov 2012 OP
lalalu Nov 2012 #1
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #3
rug Nov 2012 #4
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #7
libodem Nov 2012 #2
rug Nov 2012 #5
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #8
oswaldactedalone Nov 2012 #6
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #9

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:15 AM

1. So they are going to rebrand like any other business.

 

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Response to lalalu (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:19 AM

3. Yup, pretty much. Isn't that what Religion has done all along to try and stay relevant?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 03:38 PM

4. No, as a matter of fact, it isn't.

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:08 PM

7. That isn't much of a rebuttal. Please elaborate.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:16 AM

2. That would be good

I don't think religion is going away anytime soon. It will evolve whether it believes in evolution or not, or wither on the vine.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 03:39 PM

5. Do you object to this, if true?

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:10 PM

8. Not particularly.

Much of what I read confirms what I felt I already knew; if religion wants to stay relevant at all, it needs to adapt to the way people live their lives today.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:44 PM

6. When Christians begin to

act in a Christ-like manner, then I'll pay attention. Otherwise, most of them can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

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Response to oswaldactedalone (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:12 PM

9. While christ gets pretty good press, there is much about that charachter that leaves much to be

desired. Although I admit that acting "christ-like" is a much better alternative to how most act now.

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