6 ways mainline churches should respond to decline

23 thoughts on “6 ways mainline churches should respond to decline”

  1. I know it’s a bit self serving to say this… but I really appreciated this post. I totally agree with you, btw: there is a way forward- and these six ideas are a very good start. 🙂

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    1. Thanks! Just shared it on Twitter. Very good reminder of what we might learn if we take the opportunity to shut up and listen to those on the outside…

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  2. One of the problems the mainline churches have is that far too often the church hierarchy tries to tell us what to believe even if it is known not to be accepted in certain parts of the country. Let us be church without interference from those who think that they know better what we have to believe, we are able to study our bibles and come to out own conclusions. If you would let us we may end at the same place, but getting there without being pushed out.

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    1. Well said! I am an evangelical who came over to the mainline church after my divorce. One of the things that brought me there was the tendency of evangelical “popes” to tell me what to think. One can take a person out of the evangelicals, but taking the evangelical completely out of a person is another thing altogether. Especially in the rural Midwest, there is a tendency to dismiss anyone who doesn’t follow all the dictates from some synod on the East or West Coast as “stupid” or “backwards”. In reality, we simply either disagree or are still wrestling with one issue or another.

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  3. Christianity – Was and is in essence still a great religion. (There are greater religions yet to come should humanity ever grow up and prove themselves worthy)..
    It ought to be powerful force in the land and people ought to be pleased to live under the protective mantle of Christendom..
    A force for love, a force for redemption, a saving grace, an illuminating presence, a direct connection with God… Known and felt inwardly and outwardly radiating
    It ought to be a home for those who discover it, those who need a sense of belonging, not persuaded …
    It ought to be an oasis for those who thirst for truth..
    And it needs to move with God and do what God is doing now and what God will do tomorrow
    If people think they have these or no longer need these or can get it cheaper elsewhere…
    Then Christianity has become no longer as relevant as it was in the hearts and minds of people…
    So how can Christianity not only build on Christ’s legacy but also take on board and develop its future promise? Christianity should never let itself sell out to the demands of the mass. It needs to stay true to an upgraded constitution. This needs to be sought, found and developed. (The term ‘constitution’ refers to one illumined by the holy spirit…) The way forward is through spiritual regeneration and elevation, not though endlessly rewriting a dogma and a catechism that is past its sell-by date and profoundly detached from the reason of God..

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  4. Unbranded compassion and kindness is the business of Christianity. It doesn’t require cathedrals, temples, cracker boxes with steeples on them, hierarchies or educational institutions. It does require unfailing attention to others. Most importantly – this is not primarily a group activity.

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  5. Man reading this reminded me of how excited I used to be about the church I was going to…until it started to look more and more mainline. …I left eventually. Painfull and plenty frustrating, I think about it daily, but at the same time it feels so good beeing free again.

    Thx for writing this and aknowledging that theres big changes needed.

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  6. Ben, Reading this, I had a thought that comes to mind often for me, get out of the way church! We have THE answer to every problem and heartache in the Person of Jesus. Everything we do should point to Him. Good stuff here.

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