Church in Transition

I have been a pastor for twenty-three years, and during that time I have never experienced the velocity of change that seems to be happening in our day.  Transition is the new normal.

The reasons are many: massive changes in society, economics, globalization, and technology all contribute to the rapid pace of change over the past 10 years.  And all those factors have added to the massive changes we are seeing in the mission field.

In the USA, The majority of people who are not Christians no longer look to the church for spiritual nourishment, guidance or instruction.  Younger generations are leaving the church at an alarming rate.  Less than 5% of Christian churches are growing, and 85% of that growth is from Christians transferring from church to church.  The fastest growing religious segment today are those the “nones.”  Those are people who, when asked by polsters: “what is your religion?” choose “none.”

It’s enough to make a pastor weep.

The choices that churches face in the midst of this transition are many and varied, but they boil down to three questions:  Do we keep doing what worked in the past?  Do we develop new ministries in the hope that “if we build it they will come?”  Or, do we adapt by building on the God-breathed strengths of our church and innovate with new wineskins for a new day?

We are in the adaptation camp at Redwood Covenant.

We have strengths to build on, especially with our children, students and worship ministries.  We want to strengthen those areas of excellence.  AND, we want to adapt to the changing mission field by finding new ways be church in the world.  We want to be both  missional and attractional.

Specifically, this means building on our strengths and also releasing mid-size communities that reach out in love, compassion and justice.

We’ve built toward this future for almost a year now.  And we are getting very close to launching our first wave of Community Groups!  In future posts, I’ll share how that journey is going!

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About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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One Response to Church in Transition

  1. Abigail Ferris says:

    Great post today, Chris! Thanks for your willing and open spirit toward the the growth God has for us. I’m excited to be part of the Community Group launch and look forward to the next adventure on this journey of faith into our life as God’s family!
    Having roots in the Great Lakes, I relate to anything “hockey”. With that in mind:
    “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been” – Wayne Gretzky.
    Yes, you can use that 🙂
    Joyously in Christ,
    Abigail

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