Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older

Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller and Older (1)

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older | Comments Off on Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller and Older (1)

Lots of folks have been leaving the Christian church for some time now; especially young people. Why do you suppose? I ask a lot of young people that question. They say a lot of things, but standing back, the recurring theme comes down to one thing. Their universe is changing and the Church’s universe is staying the same. Five hundred years ago, the Western Church underwent one of its finest hours; the Reformation. It was fantastic! It captured people’s attention, resonated with their souls, and fostered 400 years of creativity, spirituality, and care for the world. On the strength of that...

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Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller and Older (2)

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older | 2 comments

When good church folk try and figure out why our churches are shrinking and getting older, we usually blame society. The bad people, the bad influences, the sinful nature of things… these are why we’re in decline. I don’t think so. I think we’re shrinking and aging because we’re holding on to a worldview whose shelf-life has expired. It has to do with physics. Society constantly updates our basic understanding of the basic nature of things, and when we do, there is a corresponding update of how we live our lives; organize  society, do economics, politics… and religion. Back in the Middle...

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Why Your Church is Getting Smaller and Older (3)

Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older | 1 comment

Five hundred years ago, Isaac Newton really upset the Church’s applecart with his little formula; F=ma. His formula symbolized a radical update of our basic understanding of the nature of things. “Force is equal to Mass times Acceleration” has a profound implication. It means that “Force is NOT equal to Twice Mass times Acceleration.” We began to live in a universe where things are one way, and they are not another. The world became unequivocal, it is one way, not another, understandable and figure-out-able. Newton and his Enlightenment cohort made ours a very precise universe;...

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Why Your Church is Getting Smaller and Older (4)

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older | 2 comments

In our lifetimes, our society is going through an update of how we think about the nature of things. It began almost one hundred years ago. Neils Bohr helped us discover that the chair you’re sitting on is really empty space and energy. Einstein told us that reality changes relative to where you’re standing when you experience it. Heisenberg told us that the world is an unknowable place. Not only can’t you know what’s really going on at the most basic level of things, if you try and find out, you change it by just looking. Crazy stuff! Ours has become a new world. A new reality. A new...

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Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller and Older (5)

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older | 1 comment

Today, many Americans wonder out loud if democracy is an absolute good, applicable to every culture, at every place, in every time (more). That’s new. It used to be that democracy was one of those “A-is-true” truths. Anything else was “not-A” and therefore not true. Many are also questioning capitalism (more). These kinds of doubts are rare in American history. Many are wondering if absolutes even exist; if givens are really givens. In other areas of our society as well… the bedrock belief in, and description of, family is morphing in our time. Our trust in authority figures is...

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Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller and Older (6)

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in Why Your Church Is Getting Smaller/Older | 1 comment

In general, Christian churches are getting smaller and older. I don’t think it’s because young people are less spiritually hungry. Not at all. I think it’s because we have so closely wed the Christian Story and the Enlightenment worldview. It was OK that we did…  until the Enlightenment worldview began to die. At that point many Christians decide to make a stand to try and defend it against an overwhelming tide of scientific evidence. Young people had no choice but to look for spiritual insight elsewhere. Many young people check us out. They are quite hungry spiritually. But when they...

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