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

A Contrarian View on Starting a New Worship Service [April 19, 2017 Version]

Litrugical Worship

“I cannot stand that loud music,” said Henry Brown, a leader in his congregation.

“But, if it will help us reach a younger crowd on Sundays, as long as it is at a different time than the sacred 11:00 a.m. worship, and I do not have to attend it or hear that music when I arrive at church, then I guess we can have it.”

With that the board of Hope Church voted to start a new contemporary worship service.

“Have you seen some of those things they are doing in what they call their worship service?” exclaimed Claire Yarborough in response to the new emergent worship service meeting in the old church worship center at Council Road Church.

“I am not sure it is Christian. I know it is not faithful to our denominational heritage.”

Claire was not the only person who felt this way. The opposition in the congregation to the new worship service that had been meeting for almost two years was growing.

Claire continued. “We need to get a group of our leaders to attend that service and see what is going on. We may need to stop that service, and get rid of the worship leader. We particularly do not want our pastor doing some of those things in our worship service!”

She was referring to the interpretive movement—dancing as she called it—that was part of the worship experiences. Additionally, the meditation exercises and the unusual and casual way they partake of Communion seemed out of character to their denominational heritage.

Continue reading "A Contrarian View on Starting a New Worship Service [April 19, 2017 Version]" »

Excellence in Hospitality! Secrets of a Secret Shopper

Secrets of a Secret Shopper CoverGreg Atkinson is one of those folks who actually knows what he is talking about. He has been in hundreds of congregations as a member, guest, and especially as a secret shopper. Out of those experiences he has written a book that is "ultimately about excellence and doing what you do well." (pp. 145-146 in Secrets of a Secret Shopper. As a person who is really big on congregational vision--see Captured by Vision: 101 Insights to Empower Your Congregation at Captured by Vision--I love the various references in the book to casting the vision in the manner in which hospitality is extended to guests.

Greg has been a secret shopper so many times that he has a whole list of "bones to pick," "soapboxes," and "pet peeves." He points these out in the book, but then tells you what to do about them. This is not a book of lists. It is a book that covers key topical areas around hospitality, provides examples of congregations, and references other writers who have made helpful statements.

Instead of a preacher for your next revival, a Bible teacher for your next congregational wide study, or the next music guest person or group, invite Greg Atkinson to come visit your congregation, but don't let anyone know he is coming! Then in addition to sharing the report he provides, buy a copy of this book for everyone in your congregation who works on hospitality issues. Or, just start right now by buying the book and absorbing it. You cannot go wrong!