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Avoiding Church Death

All we need is another post about the end of the church… We get it; millennials don’t like church and we need to change to reach them and keep our churches from dying. But haven’t we tried all that and still are not reaching new people?

I do believe that in the midst of the clamor of a death to the church the only true way to grow and establish a church for generations to come is a re-centering on the truth of the gospel. Jesus plus nothing. The church must stop majoring in behavior change and start focusing on savior savoring. That is my piece. Who is with me?

The church must stop majoring in behavior change and start focusing on savior savoring.

David Tarkington has a post on Pastors.com about avoiding the coming tsunami of church closure. He gets as the idea of reaching and empowering the next generation. I think it is worth a read. A few highlights from the post follow.

On our need for a generationally diverse church: “Generational differences are real and as the times change they become more and more evident. Many church leaders track these trends, but others discover them naturally as one generation matures and the next steps into leadership roles. A church that only reaches an older generation will have a room full of wisdom and potentially no debt, but will not be as effective in reaching younger people in the community…

“Conversely, a church that only reaches Millenials will have a lot of energy and will “Like” ministries and movements that address social issues such as trafficking and justice, but will find it difficult to finish any significant task and may discover the funding to lack for all areas.”

And what might be the fix? “So, how does a church that desires to “be all things to all people” so that we may reach some for the Gospel, do this? How does an established church with almost a century of history adjust processes and programming in order to remain effective ambassadors for Christ in this culture? The answer may seem simple. It may even sound like a cliche, but when lived out fully, it is not. It is the Gospel in action. Regardless of generational makeup or church culture, living missionally is the key. It leads to viewing the community surrounding one’s church as the mission field. This inevitably leads those within the church to begin living as missionaries. Perhaps this is what God meant when he called us his ambassadors?

“Living missionally removes the typical church marketing strategies that intend to sell a program or ministry to a community that doesn’t want or think they need it. No longer are church members bragging about their great church or the ministries offered. Here’s a newsflash – lost people aren’t thinking about the church and therefore, do not view what the church has to offer as something they need, much less want.

“Living missionally leads Christ-followers to love their neighbors and to offer that which they do need – the good news of Jesus Christ. The Gospel! That changes everything.”

Read the whole post here.

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