The Sky is Falling!

I keep reading about the crisis in the American church:

  • An estimated 1700 pastors leave the ministry every month.
  • Less than 50% of Americans identify as Christian.
  • Less than 25% ever attend a church.
  • People under 45 are leaving churches in droves.
  • Protestant, Catholic, and Evangelical churches are all shrinking
  • Mega-churches remain popular with boomers & Gen-X, but younger people eschew them

This is causing a great deal of consternation in congregations, denominations, and church-planting groups.

I think it’s a blessing.

The whole thing about building buildings and staffing programs is mostly a waste of resources. Home churches with bivocational leaders can meet people’s needs for worship, prayer, study, and growth and are best situated to reach friends and neighbors. Almost all the money they raise can be used for charity. And, they can always join forces, rent a space once in a while, and have a bigger meeting if need be. The American church is based on the same principles as American business. But even businesses are rethinking their investments in brick and mortar and the necessity of armies of middle managers. 

Besides, what makes a pastor or other church leader? We know the right answers – love, compassion, prayer, heart for Jesus, care for people, ability to teach scripture. In reality, however, that’s not who gets moved to the front of the queue. Instead, good looking, dynamic, outgoing, entrepreneurial men who are great speakers and skilled at church politics are the pick of the lot. They are CEOs. 

I’ve been a mega-church pastor. I’ve planted churches. I know how to study the demographics and design programs to meet felt needs. Instead, give me a home fellowship with a dozen people who love and care for each other and have hearts for the marginalized, victimized, and disenfranchised – people who love God, all others (no exceptions), creation, and themselves with Christlike cruciform love. 

No judgment. Just my opinion. 

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on September 30, 2021, in anabaptist, Christianity, creation, Jesus, Justice, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, Peace Shalom Hesed, social justice, Spirituality, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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