THE WORD of the day in our mainline Christian denominations seems to be decline. Whether it is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax, the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. or my own Maritime Conference of the United Church, the dominant challenges we face are declining attendance and large, expensive buildings.
Look for more of what we saw in the news last week, long-time members expressing heartache over the possibility of their buildings being closed.
This past month, I read two books that spoke to this issue. One is titled Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith, a very recent survey of mainline Protestant churches that are growing in spite of all the social factors lined up against them. The other was written a few years ago and is titled The Rise of Christianity, which answers the question: How did an underground Jesus movement that met secretly in members’ homes become the dominant religion we know as Christianity? (whole thing here)
Monday, May 14, 2007
"Sell expensive buildings, focus on mission work" - Kevin Little
My friend Kevin Little offers some provocative advice: