Monday, March 01, 2010

Good question

I'm looking forward to the release of the book, "AND," as it asks a very important question as well seeking to address the following facts:

"What is happening to the church in America? By all appearances, it looks like we are 'doing' church better than we ever have. In the past thirty years the number of mega-churches has increased from under 100 to over 7,500. In the past ten years the number of multi-site churches has increased from under 100 to over 2,000. By the numbers, these church movements enjoy the national platform, the national voice, and the resources to profoundly impact the Kingdom. In spite of the rapid growth of these prevailing church movements, why is the Western church still in massive decline?"


Wallace D. Harrison said...
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Wallace D. Harrison said...

Stewardship? Numerical growth, but not discipleship growth? Sunday morning spectacle, but Monday-Saturday spud? It's a wrestling match for sure.

Jane, The Suburban Philosopher said...

That's a good question. Sounds like your doctoral thesis! [seriously!]

I'd be curious to know what the numbers are overall [are people leaving small churches for mega's, giving the appearance of growth when really it's just a lateral move?]

...and, how does it compare to Europe and other areas?

Makes me a little scared for our kids--the reality that so many people leave. Sad.

Wallace D. Harrison said...

I could see this being thesis material for sure. It weighs heavy on me daily, both for your reasons of our kids' future, as well as the decline of orthopraxy being connected to orthodoxy. It seems the growth is more informed, and transferred, by style rather than substance, which can lead to such emptiness and living in the status quo.

Many Christian missiologists compare the Western church to Europe's history, which they would then conclude that our current form of church will die. I'm not sure if that is a bad thing, something I'm wrestling with as well.

Wallace D. Harrison said...

We seem to be good at inviting people to church services, hopefully we will get better at being an inviting person away from those services. There is not near enough space in the church facility for our community, but there is plenty of space in our community for our church.