Posted inReligion

Church Consultants: How (Not) to Fix Dying Churches

Reading Time: 7 minutes Hi and welcome back! Yesterday, we touched on the topic of church consultants. For the past 15 years or so that Christianity has been in decline in America, this field has exploded — in supply at least, though not really in demand. Pastors hire these consultants to rescue their dying churches. Today, let me show you […]

Posted inReligion

Church Consultants: The New Old Trend That Definitely Won’t Save Christianity

Reading Time: 8 minutes Church consultants perform many functions for church leaders, from crafting and executing surveys to creating evangelism plans to coming up with ways to stop a church from decline and closure. Many even subcontract out their services to bigger Christian organizations. And yet somehow, Christianity declines anyway. Today, let me show you the jackals squabbling over this bloated religion’s corpse: church consultants.

Posted inReligion

A Wingnut Meeting Gets Completely Out of Hand in ‘This Present Darkness’ (LSP #138, Ch. 21)

Reading Time: 10 minutes In Chapter 21, Frank Peretti skipped merrily across a whole bunch of plots, giving us a little taste of each one, George R. R. Martin style. I only touched on each of those plot vignettes last week. So now, let’s zero in on one of the most interesting of the lot of them. Today, Lord Snow Presides over just how easy it is for wingnuts’ meetings to get completely out of hand.

Posted inLGBTQ, Religion

Booting Their Boomers: How One Church Plans to Become Popular at Last

Reading Time: 9 minutes Recently, I noticed something coming up a lot in the commentariat and elsewhere: this news story about Cottage Grove United Methodist Church. Their leaders are taking a really unusual step to try to bring in new blood. They’re gonna do it by throwing out the old blood! Here’s why this strategy is doomed to failure right out of the gate–and why these Christians are desperate enough to try it anyway.

Posted inReligion

Church Volunteering: Just Like Group Work From School

Reading Time: 11 minutes Over the past week, I’ve noticed a lot of discussion regarding church volunteer work. Not much of it sounds positive, either. In fact, it reminded me intensely–and most unpleasantly–of group work from my school days. Here’s why church volunteering reminds me of those old hurts. (In this post, I discuss a bad bunch of experiences […]

Posted inReligion

Leaving the Validation Carousel.

Reading Time: 9 minutes Things happen in your head the day you successfully make the switch from craving external validation to finding internal validation. But Christian organizations benefit from people needing external validation–and do their best to demonize the idea of internal validation. There’s a reason for it, of course, and we’ll talk about that reason today.

Posted inReligion

Thom Rainer and His Boxes of Air.

Reading Time: 10 minutes Certainly, we shouldn’t be surprised that Christians, having finally figured out just how bad the situation is for them, are finally swinging around to trying to fix things. But a funny thing happens when very criticism-averse people try to solve big, sweeping, systemic problems with their group: they start coming up with reasons for those problems that bear no resemblance to reality.

Posted inReligion

Church Marketing Sucks: No, It’s a Religion, Yes, Christians Follow the Bible, and Yes, That Is Totally A Church.

Reading Time: 10 minutes I was reading this funny site that gathers “horror stories” from Christians about really awful church experiences they’ve had and realizing that quite a lot of Christian marketing isn’t very well thought-through. Not much says “churches are businesses like any other” quite like the amazing and extensive variety of resources available to Christians wishing to promote […]

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