Friday, May 28, 2010

Internal Reasons for Mainline Decline

This continues the presentation from John Thomas on May 11, 2010. These are his assessments of internal reasons for mainline decline. The last post focused on external pressures.

1) churches were slow to adapt to disestablishment. "When the 50s come back, we'll be ready!"
2) weak evangelism
3) no faith formation for youth - focus on programming only, keeping them entertained and involved, but not prepared for college and young adulthood.
4) social movements confused churches - Vietnam, civil rights, LGBT issues, feminism
5) we have no "theological canon" or common theologians
6) church related colleges once could be counted on to teach our laity; most are nominal in name at best and being related to one denomination or another is mostly irrelevant
7) a focus on anxiety and uncertainty about the future

It's futile, he added, to do better what we once did.
The next post will be his advice about the future

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