How would you change your/the church?

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BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
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Gotcha. Gonna suggest that a congregation made up of a strong contingent of farmers, farmers' spouses, farmers' children, that sort of co-opting is much less likely.
 

Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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Slavishly following the leader is something I have seen in progressive circles. Sorry to haul this out again but it is my lived experience
Oh yeah, it is not just a conservative sin. Or a religious one, for that matter. Look at some of what goes on in politics or even in the corporate world.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
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I think a number of our churches/people in churches have somewhat lost sight of "why" they are church - and over time the pre-occupation has become keeping the finances stable & the doors open, and therefore how to 'bring in' people to join & support the church. I think Jesus commanded us to 'go out' to be disciples in the world - so how do we live into that in the context of today's world? For me that is an important question.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
I was raised not to leave my brains at the door, and loved that phrase, ...still do.....But....
There have been times I have let the heart lead, and mysticism informed me. The unseen reality.
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
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Agreeing with @Carolla

It seems to me that churches often function like clubs of like-minded people. I am starting to think the deep friendships we often see among church members are not really the point.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
I think a number of our churches/people in churches have somewhat lost sight of "why" they are church - and over time the pre-occupation has become keeping the finances stable & the doors open, and therefore how to 'bring in' people to join & support the church. I think Jesus commanded us to 'go out' to be disciples in the world - so how do we live into that in the context of today's world? For me that is an important question.
This!
It's important to establish what the motivation is behind your church or if there even is one.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
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I am starting to think the deep friendships we often see among church members are not really the point.

I am going to confess right now that I have not got a single "best friend" among my congregation. I think a "best friend" knows all your warts and loves you anyway; there might have only been half a dozen or so of those in my life, and at least half of them are dead. I am a very private person when it comes to my extra small inner circle...the perils of introversion.

But the people with whom I work and worship as a faith group, with a goal of outreach and support, many of them are dear friends. I think you're right that the point is the common purpose.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
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Last week I listened in to an online 'conference' by Convergence - "Courageous Economy: Rethinking Money & Ministry." I probably heard a dozen or more speakers on various aspects of this - and I think all of them commented on churches needing 'understand their why' and starting with that, not the question of finances (which we know is a frequent starting point). When we can reconnect with 'why' we are church, we can then evaluate our processes & activities to see how they line up - or don't - with the why. Things are shifting - there's a lot of spiritually based stuff going on out in the community that many churches overlook or are blind to, sadly. Know yourself, know your neighbourhood, engage to create common good with & for all. That's where my thinking is at the moment.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
I think a number of our churches/people in churches have somewhat lost sight of "why" they are church - and over time the pre-occupation has become keeping the finances stable & the doors open, and therefore how to 'bring in' people to join & support the church. I think Jesus commanded us to 'go out' to be disciples in the world - so how do we live into that in the context of today's world? For me that is an important question.


Is lost sight and blind faith a co poly Marah? Many pools ...
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Much of this is not well accepted in a winning social order devised on the concept of violent competition; where martyrdom and suicidal behavior is lost to them as they hang about!

Thus the fall or nemesis!
 

Nancy

Well-Known Member
Finances are a reality for anything though. Those who aren't concerned about finances maybe don't need to be. There are a lot of great organizations doing great things... hospices, hospitals, charities,...and most of them have 50/50 draws these days to raise funds. Yet when the church talks money (along with all the other things they talk about) there is condemnation. I don't get that.
 

Mrs.Anteater

Just keep going....
Finances are a reality for anything though. Those who aren't concerned about finances maybe don't need to be. There are a lot of great organizations doing great things... hospices, hospitals, charities,...and most of them have 50/50 draws these days to raise funds. Yet when the church talks money (along with all the other things they talk about) there is condemnation. I don't get that.
Oh, I think its completely fine to talk money. I am just against talking attracting more people because of money.
Or because they need more hands on deck. That’s not really the “why” they should be looking for. It also then shows an attitude of preferring people with money.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Oh, I think its completely fine to talk money. I am just against talking attracting more people because of money.
Or because they need more hands on deck. That’s not really the “why” they should be looking for. It also then shows an attitude of preferring people with money.

Money is not a problem in little people and little churches ... thus the small church syndrome ...

It constructs minor concerns to the powers ... that they can deny!
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
I'm familiar with Haskell's paper and a response to it by the Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison.

I'm trying to locate the response now but cannot remember where I first read it.

Brad is a friend and was known to WonderCafe.ca as EZed.

John
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
The Haskell study has been brought up several times here as has Morrison's response to the Haskell study and the entertaining anecdote that in their younger years both Morrison and Haskell were friends in a Christian rock band called Thanx.

For more info here are links:
 

KayTheCurler

Well-Known Member
I see no problem with congregations running fundraising efforts. I turn away though when they claim to need donations to buy a new carpet, paint the entryway, or buy new windows. I know these things need to be done, but object to contributing to the upkeep of a building that is basically a private club.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
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We specifically have another fund, called the Building Fund, to which members are invited to contribute, as they feel moved, for new carpet, new paint, etc. If you don't specify, your donation generally goes to the "General Fund", which is the day to day ops of the church, including outreach, but also salaries, utilities, etc.

We also tend to apply for church or government grants, if we want to do something like "accessible washrooms", etc.
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
Like it or not the Church (as denomination or congregation) is always changing.

The real questions are: "For what reason is the church changing?" and, "Can it change fast enough?"

There are a number of reasons for the church to change. The best would be that the church sees a need and adapts to meet that need. The worst would be the church sees a change and needs to resist that change. Defining what is a good change and a bad change should be done in light of Christ's call to follow him into the world. It should also keep an eye on the fundamental quality of Christ's compassion. Lose sight of either and you have a problem that can only get worse if it is allowed to continue.

The speed of change is determined by what can be sustained. Christian's like mountain top experiences and epiphanal moments. They forget that to get to the mountain top moment you have to climb the mountain. That takes time and it takes effort far more of both than we get from the actual mountain top itself. Epiphanies come after we have spent time sweating and reasoning. The brief moment of understanding comes only after a concerted effort to see the mountain from all angles.

Not everyone is happy with the pace of striving or studying. They want immediate gratification of the goal achieved without the delayed gratification endured in the process.

Studies have shown that those who accept and deal with delayed gratification go on to experience more mountaintops and epiphanies than do those who want things done now.
 
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