Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finding New Church Models

If you're involved in ministry, particularly in mainline denominations, you should read this article. As a non-denominational, evangelical guy, I'm beginning to see the writing on the wall that was etched onto the edifices of the mainline churches fifty years ago. The reality is that our current models of Church are unsustainable. Large, professional staffs with massive administrative and bureaucratic support will become an unbearable burden to congregations.

Thanks to the rising general level of education and now the wide dissemination of knowledge over the internet, the average person is becoming more and more free to live without the guidance of social and professional ‘betters’. For the very large majority of people around the world, that kind of empowering freedom is what progress is all about.

People don't look to the pastor as the expert anymore. They know just as much, and often times much, much more, than the church leaders about any given subject. A seminary degree, while important, doesn't carry the same weight as it used to. You can't just preach anymore, you have to dialogue. You can't come down from the mountain like Moses and dictate your vision to the masses. The masses are people, and they each have their own ideas about how things ought to go. You have to listen and ask questions and seek input. When the boomers are gone, they'll take the top-down, expert-led model of church leadership with them. The chickens of the Reformation are coming home to roost. I just hope they still come to church.

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