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Lent 2013 Entry, Day 5

So, I’ve started reading the book The Great Evangelical Recession: The 6 Factors That Will Crash the American Church, and How to Prepare, by John S. Dickerson. My friend Hal (Hollywood to those of us that knew him in college) recommended it and wanted me to blog about it. I will, once I get finished.

While you’re waiting, I’d like to throw out a mind vitamin for ya, to get your brains engaged. Frankly, I don’t have to give you much background because most of it is right there in the title/subtitle as to where it’s headed. However, I relate to the author because he’s often told he’s “too depressing” or “negative.” So, he heads off that potential criticism in the introduction to the book:

What follows is not depressing. It simply tests our loyalty. While confronting these facts, we will be forced to answer, again and again, ‘Am I more committed to evangelicalism as we know it, or to Jesus Christ, His kingdom, and His message?’

Christ’s church has always faced change. Through it all, He has promised, ‘I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’ Christianity as we know it is receding. The evangelical recession offers us a window of opportunity, during which we can re-center Christ’s church on His mission. Wise leaders must be aware of what is changing, why it’s changing, and how to prepare. I take heart in these recent words from a young evangelical leader, Gabe Lyons:

‘I believe this moment is unlike any other time in history. Its uniqueness demands an original response. If we fail to offer a different way forward, we risk losing entire generations to apathy and cynicism. Our friends will continue to drift away, meeting their need for spiritual transcendence through other forms of worship and communities of faith that may be less true but more authentic and appealing.’

So, a couple of questions:

Do you think that church leaders, in general, are aware of what’s changing, why it’s changing and how to prepare? Why or why not?
Are you seeing the younger generation being apathetic and cynical about churches? How do you see it? Can this be fixed, or is it not happening therefore in no need of a fix?
Finally, are YOU more committed to the status quo or are you more open to changes? What do you love about the way things are? What would you like to see changed?

That should get your brains engaged…

*pours a cup of coffee and waits for the discussion*

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