It’s easy to blame church problems on COVID. But many trends were impacting Christian churches a long time before the pandemic. Historian and theologian Phyllis Tickle describes it as “Every five hundred years, the Church cleans out its attic and has a giant rummage sale.” Methods and programs that once nurtured faith in congregations no longer connected with many people, forms of worship seemed hollow, structures that once supported vital activities now suffocated people’s souls. There were similar trends with Sunday night, prayer night, Sunday School, vacation bible school. Christian education taught guidelines but did not form believers who look like Jesus. Then COVID came and sped up the decline. Where is the Jesus movement heading? In this series we look at signs of life for clues and a church of the future.
February 19 - Structure Post-world war II gave rise to churches organized like institutions with administrative structures and significant overhead costs. Such maximalist structures drain vital energy away from congregational endeavors. What clues can we find for workable structures?