If you read the article you’ll see some of the reasons I was attracted to them (well, I do have to admit that the lead pastor, Joel Triska thinks a lot like I do about the future of the church)…
…but here’s a few quotes that I think should get your brains engaged this morning:
First, a quote that beats a familiar theme here at The Diner:
Life in Deep Ellum is part of a wave of experimentation around the country by evangelicals to reinvent “church” in an increasingly secular culture, and it comes as the megachurch boom of recent decades, with stadium seating for huge crowds, Jumbotrons and smoke machines, faces strong headwinds. A national decline in church attendance, the struggling economy and the challenges of marketing to millennials have all led to the need for new approaches.
Did you catch the inferences that are now almost universally understood (notable church-trend researchers like Ed Stetzer disagree and certainly have interpretations of that data worthy of discussion): The megachurch movement is now, at best, plateaued and most likely in decline? National decline in church attendance? Yep…all there.
Second, a bit of professional insight:
Although the number of evangelical churches in the United States declined for many years, the trend reversed in 2006, with more new churches opening each year since, according to the Leadership Network’s most recent surveys. This wave of “church planting” has been highest among nondenominational pastors, free to experiment outside traditional hierarchies.
“I hear a lot of pastors say, ‘I’m not just trying to be creative and avant-garde, I think this is maybe the last chance for me,’ ” said Doug Pagitt, the founder of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis.”
Just a little question for you, patrons: What do you think is meant by pastors saying that church-planting is their last chance? Warning: This is a very loaded question, kids.
Welp. Have at it!