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The Church is dying. Specifically, Christianity in Western countries is rapidly diminishing. 7-8,000 churches close their doors every year in the U.S. – about 150-200 every week. In 1966, there were 600 Catholic seminaries in America. 189 remain. 1000 Southern Baptist congregations close every year with half of them predicted to close by 2030. More and more churches are seeing fewer people participating in worship services and the ones who do are attending less frequently. Sure, there are a few exceptional congregations here and there, but they are outliers and those too will be declining within 10 years or so. Some say way we need to reform Christianity. Some say we need to do church differently. Some say we need to revise the language. Some say we need to jettison Christianity and the Church that conveys and enfleshes it all together.
From moderate to radical, my colleagues Reverends Mark Sandlin and Greta Vosper, respectively, recently wrote essays conveying such calls to action in their recent columns on Progressing Spirit.
Adults - Folks - Results - Things - Ways
“We must recognize that we are now perfectly set up to not attract young adults and middle-aged folks. We are perfectly designed to get the results that we are getting. It’s going to take doing some things in radically new ways to turn the tides. We’ll have to embrace technology and social media more deeply than ever before. And, we will have to be intentional about breaking out of our routines. We will need to be deliberate about finding new ways to positively interact with younger folks. Nobody else can do it for us. There are no magical books or seminars that can make this easy. This is simply about the Church (remember, the people are the Church) breaking out of its safe routines and dogma, and deeply and lovingly engaging the community...
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