Tag Archives: American Church

-5 Trends Facing the American Church?

Church Bells

              (Image by shioshvili via Flickr)

Are the bells tolling for the American church?

From LifeWay Research comes the following trends which may soon affect American Churches:

1. Our nation will see the emergence of the largest generational mission field in more than a century. According to our current research, the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, will have a very low Christian representation. Our estimates now are that only 15 percent are Christian. With a huge population of nearly 80 million, that means that nearly 70 million young people are not Christians.

2. The dominant attitude of this huge generation toward Christianity will be largely indifferent. Only 13 percent of the Millennials rank any type of spiritual matter as important to their lives. They are not angry at churches and Christians. They simply ignore us because they do not deem us as meaningful or relevant.

3. Senior adult ministries in churches will experience steep declines. As the large Baby Boomer generation moves into their older years, they will resist any suggestion that they are senior adults, no matter how senior they may be. Unfortunately, many churches are slow to adapt to new realities. If they do senior adult ministry the way they’ve always done it, it will be headed for failure.

4. The large Boomer generation will become more receptive to the gospel. Our data is anecdotal for now, but we are seeing indications that the Boomers may actually become more interested in spiritual matters in general and Christianity specifically. If so, this trend will be counter to other trends where adults tend to become less receptive to the gospel as they age. The Baby Boomers have tried it all and found no joy. They may likely turn to the hope of the gospel.

5. Family will be a key value for both of the large generations. For the Millennials, family is their most important value. Nearly eight out of ten of the Millennials ranked family as the important issue in their lives. They told us that they had healthy relationships with their parents who, for the most part, are Baby Boomers. Some churches say they are family friendly, but few actually demonstrate that value. Churches that reach both of these generations will make significant changes to become the type of churches that foster healthy family relationships.

Read the whole thing: Five major trends for churches in America

Response: Many secular folks are anticipating a huge decline in membership for Christian Churches in America. As the Boomer generation gets older and begins to depart from this earth, many expect that the Christian influence in America will finally decline and go the same way as Europe.

The key to that expectation lies with the small number of Millennials that are actually Christians and involved in churches in America. The writer of the Lifeway article views this as a wide open domestic mission field opportunity.

In the next generation, will churches be closed up and shuttered all across America like Europe or will a new move of God bring an entire generation to Christ? The demographics are definitely against the church. I suggest that we pray for the later and participate in a new move instead. We obviously need a new awakening In America.             *Top

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-Church Today Not What God Intended?

fresco at the Karlskirche in vienna (by Johann...

                         (Image via Wikipedia)

The Christian Post put up some observations by mega pastor Francis Chan about the American Church.

Pastor Chan questions whether today’s church is anything like what God originally intended. Here’s some of the quotes –well worth reading:

"You go to a building, someone gives you a bulletin, you sit in a chair, you sing a few songs, a guy delivers maybe a polished message, maybe not, someone sings a solo, you go home."

"When you read the New Testament, you see the Holy Spirit was supposed to change everything so that this gathering of people who call themselves Christians had this supernatural element about them."

"Do you really see this supernatural power at work when the believers gather together for what we call church? Isn’t it the same Holy Spirit that’s supposed to be available to us today? Why is it so different?"

"I heard one person say the church nowadays is neither super nor natural," he says. "Everything is predictable and everything is expected."

"There’s a truth to that. I feel bad about it. Being around a church culture, even leading a gathering of believers, I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting what’s going to happen in a church service. Was that the way it was supposed to happen?"

"When Jesus said this power (of the Holy Spirit) would come upon you, it really did come upon them and they were powerful beings (Jesus’ disciples). Why is it that in the church so many people are weak or defeated or we get so insecure because we look at ourselves rather than God? It doesn’t make sense."

“…the response among His people today is: "Hi, welcome to church. Here’s your bulletin. We’ll get you out in an hour. Come back next week."

"I mean, really? Is that all God intended for us?"

"What would the church look like today if we really stopped taking control of it and let the Holy Spirit lead?"

"I believe this is exactly what the world needs to see."

Response: I really like the ending. Here’s one pastor who obviously gets it. Those of us who have been seeking revival and renewal have all talked along the same lines about what we observe in the American church.

This is why many of us believe that when revival does come to America it will happen in the public square and in the Marketplace first just like where it started in the first century with the Apostles and also in the ministry of Jesus. The church will be substantially dragged along later kicking all of the way.

This does not mean that there will not be churches involved in the revival. There will be key congregations and groups all across North America that will prepare their members to respond, facilitate, accommodate, and make a place for the move of God. Come Holy Spirit.           *Top

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-American Church: In Transition-No longer ‘Business as Usual’

Word for the Church

One thing that should be obvious to most of us involved in the American church is that we are in a time of transition and nothing quite works the way it use to. Many major ministries that have been successful in the past are finding that past formulas no longer work and many find themselves in economic difficulty.

The lesson to be learned in this time of transition is to listen more closely to the Holy Spirit and ask for God’s help in everything that we do even the perfunctory tasks that we use to take for granted and perform automatically. We really do have to understand that ‘business as usual’ no longer works in the natural and in the Spiritual realm. What passed for natural wisdom can longer be counted on.

This goes even more so for Christians involved in businesses right now. It is a new day economically in America and Christian business folks should link up with intercessors and band together to support one another in prayer and seek special guidance. Spiritual creativity is in order as businesses fall away on the right and the left in America.

Here is a prophetic message from Barbara Wentroble that speaks about where we are at: “Transition Into Your Destiny

She opens with this:

You and I are at the halfway point in a three-year time of transition. A prophetic word has come forth that the years 2008 through 2011 are a season of transition. In God’s timing, the halfway point can be the most dangerous time during transition. It is a time when some people decide the journey is too difficult. They can’t seem to catch the vision for the new place, so they decide to go back to an old place. Others make wrong turns that cause them to take a detour from their destinations.

Decisions made at this juncture will affect the future. They will either lead a person into his destiny or lead him away from what God has purposed for him.

Then at the end there is this important observation:

The Lord is transitioning His people from an old mindset of escapism to a more biblical mindset of occupying until he comes.

I believe that this last statement is 100% correct. For too long the American church has been a place of entertainment and escapism—also a place that only sells an ‘escapist’ eternal future. It is now time for the church to actually occupy until he comes and become the people of the Kingdom—‘Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done. On earth…”

*Top

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Episcopal Bishop Calls Individual Salvation ‘Heresy’ and ‘Idolatry’

The new bishop

(Bishop Schori by Fishbowl Collective via Flickr)

ANAHEIM, CAEpiscopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says it’s "heresy" to teach that an individual can be saved through a sinner’s prayer of repentance. Here are some comments that Bishop Schori made at the opening of the Episcopal General Conference on Wednesday:

"the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

"…caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus."

"That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy."

Response: Wow, a real swipe at evangelicalism. No wonder her church is shrinking. Of coarse Her caricature is incorrect—those who are saved become part of the ‘Body of Christ’ and really aren’t alone. The blessed Bishop might want to consult the New Testament when it comes to defining what is and isn’t heresy. What do you think?

Meanwhile, the wrong reverend Bishop Schori is pushing for her denomination to provide for homosexual marriage rituals and ceremonies. She might want to consult the NT on that one also!

The question here is–who is really involved in heresy?  So-called Bishop Schori and her ilk or conservative Christians who still take the Bible serious?            *Top       (Cross-posted @ Answers For The Faith)

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“How to Change Traditional Churches into New Testament Churches”

Dr. Gregory S.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Found this on Monday Morning Insight-an article on Guy Muse’s blog: “How to Change Traditional Churches into New Testament Churches

Here’s a list of 15 suggestions that does certainly sound like the NT church alright –some of which may be the direction that the American church needs to go in the future or maybe not:

1. Replace professional clergy with Priesthood of all Believers with authority to baptize, break bread and equip fishers of men. (1 Peter 2:9)

2. Replace Church building with "House of Peace." (Luke 10:5-9; Matt. 10:11-13)

3. Replace programmed Sunday service with daily informal gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day and not just for a couple of hours a week lest she become unfaithful. (Acts 2:46-47; Hebrew 3:13)

4. Replace tithing with sharing the enormous financial resources and goodwill available in Christian homes. (Deut. 8:17-18; Acts 5:32-34)

5. Replace the “Crumb and Sip” Holy Communion with simple “Community meals” eaten together with gladness from house to house. (Acts 2:46; 1 Cor 11:20-23)

6. Replace loud music with speaking to each other in psalms and spiritual songs making melody in your heart. (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16)

7. Replace the spectator church to participatory, interactive, prophetic and Missionary sending church. (1 Cor 14:26-31; Acts 13:13)

8. Replace organizational and denominational churches with citywide network of house churches. (Romans 16:3-15)

9. Replace barren church with multiplication. The Bride must not remain barren, but reproduce and fill the earth. (Acts 1: 8; 1 Cor 9: 19-30)

10. Replace submitting to one man – by submitting to each other. We must encourage, comfort, exhort, edify and serve one another. (Galatians 5: 13; Eph. 4: 2, 15)

<<You can read the other five here>>

What do you think?            *Top 

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