Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Exploring the Future of Denominations

Sarah Davis says:
We look at an empty church and say, "Something is wrong, there's something we need to do about this situation." Honestly look at ourselves and be comfortable with the evaluation, which says we're not alright. We don't have it all together. There are some things we need to do.
Tom Ehrich says:
Time is running out...I think it's time for change-minded leaders to lead, and for denominational officials to support them in the ensuing firestorm. Instead of fighting over who owns the building, we should be discerning who owns the mission. A congregation can't be allowed to die just because entrenched leaders won't allow life.
Philip Clayton says:
A lot of young men and women lose their idealism in seminary. (That’s a damning fact that I, as a seminary teacher, take very, very seriously.) If they have the good fortune to depart seminary with their idealism intact, they’re generally assigned to a traditional church that has virtually no youth or younger families present, an average age of 60, and a major budget crisis on its hands. The orders are, “Keep this church alive!” The church members like the old hymns and liturgies; they don’t like tattoos, rock music, or electronics. They are about as likely to read and respond to blogs as I am to play in the Super Bowl. So the young pastor folds her idealism away in a closet and struggles to offer the traditional ministry that churches want.
Mark Hanson says:
The future of denominations in general...depends on responding to the mission to which God calls us in the world rather than planning strategies for institutional survival.
Martin Marty says:
We can't live with [denominations] because they are seen as bureaucratic, institutional, self-serving, hyper-organized, and understaffed. On the other hand they do help us connect with the larger body of Christians; they are somehow a house for specific delineations of the Spirit.

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