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Dying Church, Love, Millennials (and me), Ministry, Spiritual not Religious, The Church being Born, Uncategorized

Convergences, Nones and the church is dying (do you believe in resurrection?)

http://www.faithandleadership.com/blog/01-10-2013/david-lose-its-time-think-differently

“What’s the problem? someone might ask. “People don’t go to church in the numbers they used to,” we answer. No, that’s not the problem. “People don’t give money to programs like they once did.” Nope, not that either. These are just symptoms.

And as long as you think the problem is lower attendance or giving, then the only possible response is to do what we’ve always done, except do it better. We preach the same as we always did, except now we use screens and PowerPoint. Worship hasn’t really changed, but now we’ve thrown in a drum set. What we are doing is fundamentally the same, yet we somehow expect different results….(excerpted from above blog)”

hmmm….maybe the problem is THEOLOGICAL

Ie changing the time of church or the order of worship and adding more programs (the most common solutions I’ve seen to “change” the church) do not an exciting/relevant church make.

Recently my friends and I had a discussion on facebook about what church is…here is a microcosm (kind of the adverse of NPR’s study on why people don’t go to church, we discussed what church could/should be)

Tim said “A lot of theological terms confuse and get misconstrued…and I think you’re right – finding the people locally rather than them finding you. How? is the big question. Through all the misconceptions and stigma “church” gets, it’s a real challenge. There has to be some risk-taking…”

Shellie said…”Yes!!! It’s life together, authentic relationships, passionate worship, interactive study of scripture, no agenda or programs to distract or divide us, communion as a meal gathered at the table. Intimate yet informal, depth yet accessibility. A truly beautiful expression of the Church”

Tim said “Distractions being key there. We are easily distracted into thinking the programs/building/structure is “church” even when we agree that the “church” is relationships between God and people.”

Shellie said “Yes. Exactly. I’ve worked in several churches where – even with the best of intentions – the emphasis shifts to the curriculum, programs, worship service performance – and relationships slide further down the priority list. And it’s not just a pastoral problem or leadership problem – the “church” has grand expectations for its pastors.” and “es!!! How often does “do authentic relationships” or “serve the widowed, poor, oppressed” or “spend face-to-face time with the unlovely or persons outside the faith” show on our job descriptions of the church’s expectations?”

Oh and I said some stuff too…

“i think that’s what confuses people, they think church is just for belief, but I maintain its for unbelievers and faith (belief is something else!)”

“Awesome, its so hard, I think that we “do” church differently and a lot of people who are friends of mine would come, but now I need to find those people locally, I think that the idea of “church” gets in our way”

“I always say that when the church bought its first building everyone was probably like “what? That’s crazy, that won’t be real church, real church happens in peoples houses” etc, etc. all the objections people have to churches without pews or in different locations (coffeeshops, etc)”

“lol which is hilarious because the pastor’s job is to put themselves out of a job (teach others to pray, teach others to preach, teach others to lead–but church’s do focus on the programs”

The convergence continues

(Young Spiritual (and maybe not religious) people are converging! See the following article for more about the awesome convergence!!!)

Shasta and Aslan -Horse and His Boy

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About katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 6 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Convergences, Nones and the church is dying (do you believe in resurrection?)

  1. Reblogged this on My Dreams and Visions and commented:
    Here again is why the institutional church is breathing its last and churches are springing up in homes where they break bread together, have fellowship with one another and, relationships are established. This is the way the church met for the first 300 years of its existence. That is, until the emperor Constantine became a Christian and decided that his Christian god needed a temple like the other pagan gods that he used to worship had. Also, in addition to a temple, a priest was needed for this Christian temple just like the pagan temples had. Hence you have the beginning of the professional paid clergy that remains in existence today. Home churches from that time on were banned.

    Posted by Tony | January 19, 2013, 5:31 pm
  2. I have seen in dreams and words what is going to happen to the church as we have known it and what God intended it to look like. I am posting the firs dream, The end of the church below:

    The End of Church As We Know It

    Let me share a dream I had. In the dream, I saw a wooden coffin and inside the coffin, I saw a church with 2 very large pillars outside. also saw the lid of the coffin resting on the knuckles of 2 hands and the hands in turn were resting on the coffin like one would do just
    before nailing it shut. So, as you can imagine, there was very little light left in the coffin because of the lid of the coffin being almost on the coffin. Getting back to the church I saw inside the coffin, I saw thousands of people coming out of the church and jumping out of the coffin as fast as they could. However, there were 2 groups of people who refused to leave,
    in fact; they had their fists held in the air. These 2 groups were standing by the 2 very large pillars I had seen earlier in my dream. These pillars had names. The name of the first pillar was religion and the name of the second pillar was politics.

    The interpretation of the dream was given by Pastor Guy and is as follows:

    A coffin is what you bury the dead in. The coffin in your dream is
    religious tradition holding the church (the people in the church) in
    captivity from following Jesus. The two large pillars outside are the
    gods of the church. The hands belonging to the knuckles in which the
    lid of the coffin rested on were the hands of the Lord holding the lid
    from closing all the way till those who were going to leave this
    traditional church made it out.
    The hands which were resting on the coffin like they were about to
    shut it was the hands of the spirit of anti christ who was shutting
    out the light through lies and deception. This will be a time as the
    parrabel in Matt 25 of the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten
    virgins.
    The foolish virgins will be those remaining in the coffin and refusing
    to repent from their gods of religious politics and accept the life of
    Christ. Those coming out of the coffin are those who recognize the end
    is here and they came out from among them as God said to do in 2 Cor.
    6:14-18. The door is about to shut and be sealed.

    Some additional things the Lord showed me John 5:25 NIV84

    25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

    Those who hear are the ones coming out of the casket.
    The people who standing by the pillars refusing to leave are the ones of whom Jesus says that they are trying to kill Him because there is no room in their hearts for His word. Which is why they did not leave the church in the coffin and why they will try to kill any move of God that would cause people to want to leave the coffin. They prefer the darkness of the coffin where their deeds go unexposed John 3:19-21 NKJV

    And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.

    Now the Dream of what the church should look like:

    A Dream on Ezeliel 37

    I had a dream, in the dream, i saw a human body laying on the ground. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been anything special except that the body was completely flat because it had no bones in it. What the Lord showed me was that the bones are representative of people and it is people that make up the structure of the church. this is what what the Lord had showed me in Ezekiel 37, “the valley of dry bones”. In Ezekiel’s vision, the Lord took him and made him to set down in a valley. The valley is symbolic of death and despair. There were many bones in that valley they were both very dry because they had no covering and they were also scattered, meaning that they were not connected(no relationship). When the Lord asks Ezekiel ,”can these bones live” , Ezekiel knew that bones, were without life and hope of ever having life. Yet the Lord tells him to prophecy to the bones and say,”hear the word of the Lord”. The Lord, through the prophetic word spoken spoken by Ezekiel brought the disjointed bones together,however, bones cannot attach themselves to one another, they need ligaments(relationships) to hold them together. However, the ligaments themselves do not posses the strength to hold the bones together alone. So, wrapped around the ligaments is muscle(representative of leadership), which brings me to the skin, which is the covering(representative of the church),which brings me back to my latest dream about the body with no bones. Everything heretofore mentioned is needed by/for the skin(church) in order for it to take shape. The skin will adapt to the structure it is covering. Even though Ezekiel saw the body formed, he notes that there is no breath in them. As James says, the body without the spirit is dead, so was the case here in Ezekiels vision. It looked like a body but it had no life because the breath had not come into the body. Again he is told to prophecy to the 4 winds and command breath to come into the body and it is at this point that they stood on their feet and became an exceeding great army. The point here that I feel that the Lord is saying is that every part of the body is needed for it to function properly. The body(church) is to be a living organism, not organization, made up of billions of individual cells. Eph. 2:22 says that we are built together for a dwelling place for God by his Spirit. Lastly, Col2:19 says that it is He who puts us together in one peice, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

    Posted by Tony | January 19, 2013, 10:08 pm
    • Tony, thanks for your comment, it sounds like you have been deeply considering the truths God is laying out before us and how we can receive his Word in such a way that we can hear it.

      Posted by katyandtheword | January 19, 2013, 11:39 pm
      • My journey into this arena started approximately 3 years ago. It has been strange experience to say the least. But I know that in order for the Lord to get the institutional church out of me, He had to remove me from the institutional church.

        Posted by Tony | January 20, 2013, 1:26 am
  3. Good thoughts Katy. Beth Hedges posted a link to your post here. I used to work with IVCF but are now planting the seeds of a network of missional communities to go after folks who feel what you describe here. In essence, we’re talking about the nature of the church….shifting from church as place to church as people on mission. Big shift to make. Blessings as you pursue this vision!

    Posted by Luke | January 21, 2013, 9:33 pm

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