How would you change your/the church?

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Luce NDs

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.


Churches tend to be monumentally hard, difficult and all that when it comes to another movement ... too much of the same old thing? Stone soup session is coming up ... defies the logic of some involved in the Ca Ba'aL! A person versed in cabal is said to be conversant in the wildest of tales ... like nomads ... not insane but just out of it far a bit of rest ... hated by labor administrators ... somewhat augured ... lager RT's, well vised! Expect some brewing essence ... how will image a psyche gone off the handle ...

As Murphy said if it can it will ... give it time ...

There's even imagines of hard worlds hanging on sticks ... resembling orbs (or so the story goes)!

Some sol can't keep up with the outside thus innate psyche ... and this may sink in .... tho' doubtful!

How else to entertain demons until they become useful farther afield? Inane or just fringe concept? You can't relay to them pure intellect ... it isn't acceptable to their desires ... thus the dippier states ... SERENDIPITY? When time stands still without light, sound or trumpeting ... just inketh! The incomplete are urged to tinker on ...

Penetration is the stuff of dogs getting the gears from the alternate half ... served like nothing ... my grandfather had an opinion on nothing! probably on two differing kinds of it ... as happens when you delete something from nothing a negative value erupts ... those that exclude nothing ... miss the entire function of imaginary numbers!

Expect consequences in reality even if it appears it is just a vestige of what was deposed ... clear space?
 
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Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Which is why the best strategy for change is love.

The church should be changed lovingly or it will not be changed at all.

Hard to drive that one home as a force of intelligence! I've heard that they stated they'd have none of it as knowledge is the stuff that causes mental functions ... countering free desires!

It is a difficult study even denied by many in the psychology business ... ask someone you know that is familiar with such ethereal concepts! Thinking may even cause great headaches for masses of folk ... especially if they don't believe in mind and eliminated it with great passion!

Some state this if like blowing it ... and thus blues because they got nun ...

Ridiculous? Maybe, but then ...
 
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Mystic

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.
Those seriously interested in UCCan growth and spiritual transformation should heed this amazingly articulate advice of President Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
I failed years ago and they never learned anything from it ... and thus like Abraham and Moses ... I drifted off into the hills ... like Ares!

Thus it blows --- WO Mitchell. They even named a bomber for him! The things that fall out of the wind as intellectual airs ... and later disposed of like the Bishop of Myra declared ... "the point of god is all over ... thus disseminated! The God of Wisdom is yet an nebulous essence ... if you can gather such!

God Essence??? Is that a virtue ... anything good is buried in a myth! Thus escaping ignorance , naivete and all that matter ...
 

Mystic

Well-Known Member
A research-based book, Kara Powell, et al, "Growing Young," is ione of my sources. Consider these telling statistics:
"From 2007 to 2014, mainline Protestant adults slid from 41 million to 36 million, a decline of approximately 5 million...Adults in evangelical denominations (such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, Churches of Christ, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church in America), as well as adults in nondenominational churches with evangelical leanings, grew from 60 million to 62 million."
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
There is a rumor that faith is coming to an end ... mostly because a lot of powerful folk use faith in their actions of lying to the masses.

That's fate in the perspective that all things change due to being taxed to death ... and the primary folks involved really don't care no matter what they say ... they are overcome by avarice and the need to control what wasn't theirs initially ...
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
Pronouns
She/Her/Her
If mainline churches lost 5 million members and evangelical denominations grew by two million in the same period, this is a net loss for the Christian tradition in the USA.

Some would call this rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Anecdotally, I have heard that evangelical denominations in Canada are also losing members.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
In end times even faith is lost and thus something has to change! One needs to see proof of change, conversion and all that ... when piety rules demanding all things be fixed ... thus the Mob Rule!

Resolution: life is chaos ... as a grand icon of what gods do ... a devil of a job if you look at it from another perspective and not blinded by power of brute, bullies and canon ... as a rule!

Recall canon are devised to benefit the other side in the exchange ... the dealer!

How do we deal with change in an institution build of monuments' fixation? With stone arc that fall continuously in space so deep we can see no bottom (Newton's Law on the acceleration of gravity to the simple ... so when light things are denied they speed up incredibly when tossed)

Are you happy that's done with as Ares in another myth about messages of the Levite? Admit it faith is a mess even though some say it is a mass 've word when it comes down like a hammer and cycle. These do go round as that old prophet suggested there was things up there going round ... as other things it may be a funny theory on satyrs that really are against thought, knowledge and wisdom ... philosophical slippage?

Yet people still attend church for some mysterious rationale ...the concept of some member choosing you for things said to be unspeakable? Ray Stevens spoke of this in the Mrs Hypei Revival! Weren't those people cranked ...
 

Mystic

Well-Known Member
If mainline churches lost 5 million members and evangelical denominations grew by two million in the same period, this is a net loss for the Christian tradition in the USA.

Some would call this rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Anecdotally, I have heard that evangelical denominations in Canada are also losing members.

Prof. John Stackhouse's research exposes what really matters for the question of growth and decline in Canadian churches:
"But allegiance isn’t the same as observance. Look inside churches on Sunday morning to see who’s actually there. Ask Canadians who among them prays, reads the Bible regularly, and contributes money and time to Christian causes. The answer to all those questions is the same – Evangelicals. Both within the formerly mainline Protestant denominations and in uniformly evangelical ones, evangelicalism is once again the dominant orientation in Canadian Protestantism. This relative predominance, however, has come only at the expense of the decline of active membership among the mainline denominations..."
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
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She/Her/Her
But are Canadian evangelical denominations declining in active membership, would you say?

This is a different question than do they outnumber denominations like the United Church.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
A research-based book, Kara Powell, et al, "Growing Young," is ione of my sources. Consider these telling statistics:
"From 2007 to 2014, mainline Protestant adults slid from 41 million to 36 million, a decline of approximately 5 million...Adults in evangelical denominations (such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, Churches of Christ, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church in America), as well as adults in nondenominational churches with evangelical leanings, grew from 60 million to 62 million."
I'm sure once the millenials start getting older and dying off, their numbers will decline too.
There's no way to predict that their children will continue in their church of origin.
 

Mystic

Well-Known Member
But are Canadian evangelical denominations declining in active membership, would you say?

This is a different question than do they outnumber denominations like the United Church.
Please reread my Stackhouse quote; it answers your question
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Pronouns
She/Her/Her
Ask Canadians who among them prays, reads the Bible regularly, and contributes money and time to Christian causes.

I'm not sure how this distinguishes one as evangelical. I would suggest that most Canadian members of our mid-sized UCCan congregation do these things, including the heretical yours truly.

I sometimes think that you have a picture of the UCCan and its contemporary congregations that is some 50 years or so out of date to which you refer?
 

Mystic

Well-Known Member
I probably give the impression that I'm out to get UCCan. If I were to come out of retirement to return to Canada and become a minister again, I would choose UCCan, a denomination quite similar to the UMC, at least in my state, though the rapidly growing international version of UMC is more conservative. I also post on a predominantly Evangelical site, where many readers think I'm a godless progressive. I successfully sued Catholics in a case that got national attention, but I regularly defend Catholicism at its best against unfair Evangelical stereotypes. I think Evangelicals and especially Charismatics are generally superior to mainline denominations in their spirituality and spiritual gifts, but would sooner or later find me too liberal because I'm no Fundamentalist; i. e., I reject biblical inerrancy and, though I strongly believe in preaching the Gospel, I loathe the presumption that members of non-Christian faiths must be damned. Remember, I was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard in New Testament and universities don't get much more liberal than Harvard. I was a nice fit with the UMC.

Of course, I would be far more diplomatic and careful than I am on this site. I would first determine which emphases the UCCan congregation was and was not ready for. I would ask them what topics and questions that are important to them have not been sufficiently addressed in their church and then I would do regular audience analysis to gauge how well I was reading their perceived needs and wishes. Academically, I am a specialist in fine points of doctrine and ethics, but I agree with Billy Graham when he used to say, "Most Christians have just enough spirituality to inoculate them against the real thing." What he meant by "the real thing" is a transforming intimate relationship with Christ (or God) and a powerful and nurturing prayer life, both of which energize and motivate their community outreach. I am also a great believer in fun spiritual retreats for both youth and adults at beautiful lakeside locales.
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One of my most satisfying pastoral UMC achievements was developing several lay preachers who often needed to be coaxed to explore their leadership gifts. So during vacation and conference time, I always wanted a layperson to preach in my stead and this was well received. To attract and hold youth. I am a great believer in youth liturgists, musicians, and testimonies and used Youth Sundays to create more opportunities for them to participate and thus take more ownership of the church.
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Nancy

Well-Known Member
I think I am a little thick sometimes. I don't mind the church being a 'club'. But I want it to be one that is shared with others, open to anyone and everyone, because I find value in it and hope that others will too. When we work together making meat pies to sell, or work at teas, we are doing something with others that we wouldn't be doing if there wasn't a church. When we raise money, some goes to the church, but some to church camps, Christmas cheer, needy families. The older people in our church love the act of worshipping in community, so I am happy that we have been able to provide that. My main complaint about church buildings has always been the lack of use. I think they should be used for a variety of things at least 6 days a week. And not all fundraising things...spiritual, fun, hobby, helping activities. We humans are multi-faceted, and our human creation...the church...can help meet some of those facets. So, maybe (after this ramble) I can appreciate what the church has been, but also recognize that this generation of multi-faceted humans might need something else. I just haven't yet figured out what it might be. The young ones in my family (nieces) seem to need a very wild, drama-filled, chaotic life that doesn't really fit with my vision of church. And sometimes young people have told me that they want a church that keeps up with modern politics and/or provides charitable outreach. Those same people haven't really looked to notice that.....we do all that!
 

Mystic

Well-Known Member
I My main complaint about church buildings has always been the lack of use. I think they should be used for a variety of things at least 6 days a week. And not all fundraising things...spiritual, fun, hobby, helping activities. We humans are multi-faceted, and our human creation...the church...can help meet some of those facets. So, maybe (after this ramble) I can appreciate what the church has been, but also recognize that this generation of multi-faceted humans might need something else.
One of the worst cliches I used to hear from preachers is this: "We mustn't entertain with the Gospel." Two of the greatest enemies of corporate spiritual growth are boredom and short attention spans. Prayer groups can be very effective if participants can't wait to get there, but are less so when they
begin to feel too routinized or even boring. For many Christians, for example, a church garden club, a games group, or a drama group can be more effective as long as time is left at the end for personal sharing, burden--bearing, and prayer for needs. sermons need to be interspersed with
attention grabbers, humor dramatic memorable anecdotes---anthing to hold attention and minimize boredom. When I began my first sermon
at my last UMC pastorate, I said, "I preach on the assumption that about a third of you almost decided to sleep in today!"

Near the end of his life, Martin Luther was asked if he had any regrets in his pastoral ministry. He replied, "I wish I made my sermons shorter and more in the language of the common people." I feel the same regret: at times, in my desire to anticipate questions about my sermon I talked too long for
som attention spans.

Almost every night some form of ministry was going on in my church: We had 6 AA groups that often combined for great fun socials. We also
had a weekly free lunch for the poor, boy scouts, girl scouts, a bell choir group, a book discussion group, a prayer group, an occasional sleepover spiritual retreat, and a monthly potluck dinner and movie night that often attracted the poor for a lavish free dinner.
































































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Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Mystic quoted: "Near the end of his life, Martin Luther was asked if he had any regrets in his pastoral ministry. He replied, "I wish I made my sermons shorter and more in the language of the common people." I feel the same regret: at times, in my desire to anticipate questions about my sermon I talked too long for
some attention spans."


What would those of us looking for deeper answers do when facing a hollowed out and flat presentation?

Do present dark pearls to the poor in heart ... for they like some sects will not receive ... and it'll just pass over ... especially the brazen myths! Too bold?
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
The hard change is getting members to bring the church into the community, to build relationships with non church people in the community. I frequently challenged members to ask family members, friends, or neighbours to church events, not necessarily worship. Ion some congregations I invited them to consider creating a church pin they could wear when they were volunteering or participating in community activities. This was seriously considered at Deep River and abandoned when Covid hit. The pin would need to be distinctive without being flashy.
 
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