How Do Economics Impact Churches in Your Ministry Area?

NUCLEARTOWN 64796-2I hope we all know that economic situations, and patterns of both increased and lessening prosperity significant impact the opportunities and challenges congregations and our overall Christian witness face on a regular basis. In the association I serve--Columbia Metro Baptist Association--we have not only the very urban metropolitan county of Richland, but also a county to the north--Fairfield--which has risen and fallen based on various economic projects that prosper for a while and then disappear.

The most notable in the past 30 years was a Mack truck plant that opened and then closed 15 or so years later. It promised great prosperity, but left bankruptcy for those who misunderstood the fragile nature and risk of this economic opportunity. 

How do we help churches, their leaders, and their layperson in various businesses to cope with the hope and despair of fleeting economic opportunities and challenges?

The current situation about a nuclear facility in the county is current bringing hope, but signs are pointing to possible disappointment in the near future. Read this article to discover why:

View from the Pew: Church of the Redeemer, Deerfield, IL

Church of the Redeemer  Deerfield  ILAttended worship this morning at the Church of the Redeemer meeting temporarily at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. They celebrated both baptism and communion. On this Pentecost Sunday I agreed with much of the content and theology during worship, and heard an excellent message from the pastor. My theology would differ once they got to the baptism and the eucharist. Still, it was very worshipful.
For those who believe Millennials only want contemporary or emergent worship, the percentage of young adults with young children present in the worship today was amazing!
It was interesting to see on their web site at that Scot McKnight of Northern Seminary in the Chicago areas was their worship preacher during this past May.
This congregation is part of the Anglican Church in North America [ACNA] that was formed in 2009 from various parishes and dioceses who already had or who desired to move away from the Episcopal Church in America and the Anglican Church of Canada. The now number around 1000 parishes with over 100,000 members.Their parishes are in the USA, Canada, a few in Mexico, and a missionary presence in Cuba.
It is an interesting coalition of Anglo-Catholic, charismatic, and evangelical theological expressions. Non-celibate homosexual relationships are opposed by ACNA. There are variations among the dioceses as to what roles women can play as ordained clergy. They tend to be pro-life about abortion and euthanasia. They have a deep relationship with the Anglican Church in Rwanda, and its bishop.
Throughout the years in some of my consulting I have worked with the Anglican Mission in America and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh who are both founding members of the ACNA.

Songwriter Sees ‘Good News’ in Declining Role of Church Music [Baptist New Global]

Kyle MatthewsHere is an article posted by Baptist News Global, and written by Jeff Brumley, about the appearance of Kyle Matthews during a Thursday Dialogue of the FaithSoaring Churches Learning Community. Kyle was addressing a response to a Gallup survey that suggested music is a low priority in worship for many attendees. See the full article HERE.

Some people were surprised — and worried — to learn from an April poll that sermons are a much stronger draw to church attendance than music.

And it was worse than that for music lovers. The Gallup survey presented a list of motivations Americans give for going to worship, and music was solidly in last place.

But with a month to reflect on the discovery, Christian musician, songwriter and minister Kyle Matthews is not worried.

Far from it. “I think it might be good news,”

Churches Urged to Drop Millennials in Favor of Newly Identified ‘Generation’ [Baptist News Global]

Senior ServersHere is an article posted by Baptist News Global, and written by Jeff Brumley, about Perennials--which is a concept I wrote about earlier and brought to their attention. I glad they recognized the value in it. What do you think about the concept?

BNG article is found HEREMy original article is found HERE

Who are the Perennials in your congregation? What role should they play in helping you connect with people of various generations?

The BNG article begins as follows: "Churches, businesses and media outlets fixated on Millennials may want to widen their focus on a newly identified group: Perennials. The term was coined last year by a California blogger Gina Pell, who was tired of being stereotyped by her generational grouping. Characteristics commonly used to label Millennials in reality are shared by individuals across generations.

When church and clergy consultant George Bullard heard of Pell’s term, it clicked with what he had been seeing among some struggling congregations for years: an unhealthy fixation on Millennials and an almost blind, and very frustrating, campaign to lure that generational cohort to church. It’s why Bullard and other church consultants have long urged their clients to follow a famous adage: don’t put all your eggs in one basket." 

Forget Millennials. Embrace Perennials!

Perennial People[Picture from Gina Pell's post at]

How often do you hear people in your congregation say one of more of the following things?

We’ve just got to reach some young adult families with children. I walk down the preschool hall every week and I’m embarrassed with how few children I see.

We do not seem to be able to connect with the Millennials, and we must find a way.

I am in a panic. We lost our youth minister again. We better find someone quick, or we will lose all the teenagers and their parents, and will face starting over again.

We are declining in membership and attendance. We have to reach younger people or we will close.

My children and grandchildren just left our church to pursue a more contemporary church with more exciting ministry for children and youth.

This group known as Millennials do not seem to be interested in congregations with the quality of music and preaching we have. They want more of a rock concert with no rules and no discipline.

Congregations are obsessed with the birth generation known as Millennials, and are not quite sure how to connect with them. I wonder, however, if they truly understand Millennials, have poor stereotypes about them, and actually need to look at a different target group of people who may be right in their midst.

To read the full article,  Download Forget Millennials Embrace Perennials