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2012 Christian Church in Virginia Regional Assembly By Dr. Todd Adams Associate General Minister and Vice President With credit shared with: Sharon Watkins,

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Presentation on theme: "2012 Christian Church in Virginia Regional Assembly By Dr. Todd Adams Associate General Minister and Vice President With credit shared with: Sharon Watkins,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 2012 Christian Church in Virginia Regional Assembly By Dr. Todd Adams Associate General Minister and Vice President With credit shared with: Sharon Watkins, GMP; Mission Alignment Coordinating Council; the General Board; Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation and others

3 “About every five hundred years the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, whatever they may be at that time, become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered in order that renewal and new growth may occur.“ -Phyllis Tickle Keynote speaker for the 2012 GMP’s Pastors Conference October 2-4, 2012, St. Louis, MO

4 The Fall of the Roman Empire (476) Great Schism (Orthodox / Catholic 1054) The Great Reformation (1517) 2000’s Beyond the Posts (Post-modern, post-denominational etc.)

5 A new and more vital form of Christianity emerges The previously dominant form of Christianity "is reconstituted into a more pure and less ossified (rigid) expression of its former self“ Shifting of structures Redefining of mission and method of delivery

6 1-3 Centuries – 1 st Age Replicating the life of Christ The people of the way Continued the “Jesus Project” Healing the sick Feeding the poor Challenging the political institutions

7 4 th -20 th Centuries – 2 nd Age Aligned with the state (Constantine) Christianity is institutionalized Means to contain the movement Bishops were feeding the poor and the government took notice Right worship, right dogma, correct belief Focus is on interpreting Jesus rather than living like Jesus

8 The Age of the Spirit People are “more spiritual, less religious” Little commitment to institutions/creeds Aligning their activity in the world with their faith Grassroots, networking, viral mentality Today’s version of the western frontier

9 The New “Western Frontier” For the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

10 Missional Geography / Environment for Ministry New and Emerging Technology Unprecedented Diversity

11 Today’s version of the western frontier Not the first-time God’s people have been here: The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. Difference: familiar people / foreign land

12 Among people who don’t know the stories of Jesus No longer in a land of assumed church / attractional model (tomorrow) Spiritual, not religious We don’t have one language nor one single narrative beyond confessing Jesus Linguistic, cultural, generational Setting a table big enough to embody the diversity of the family of God We also have to transmit the stories in a relevant fashion

13 New language Transmitting the stories of Jesus and telling the stories of God’s love in a relevant manner Generational speak LOL Story New Modes of “presence” Bethany Christian, Tulsa New social media People are emboldened by social media People feel connected to a larger conversation Emotionally descript Reading Mark as story

14 John checked in at the Upper Room James enjoying time with Peter and Mary. Jesus likes this comment via OliveTree Mobile Jesus updated his status Big night ahead Matthew and Thomas took the What Kind of Disciple are You Test They scored as gladiators who will fight to the end Jesus does not like this comment

15 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Klout FourSquare Flickr Wordpress Digg Reddit Vimeo SecondLife

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17 Global Diversity Theological Diversity Generational Diversity Racial / Ethnic Diversity

18 Fueled by technology Food insecurity Result of climate change, urban development, population growth and oil World’s population est. 7 Billion 925 million are food insecure Economic Ties Greece and the world markets 0.41% of the World’s GDP USA is 25% of the World’s GDP News around Greece

19 Congregations are made up of fewer cradle disciples – more ecumenical Church growth is no longer the attractional model Congregations need to be Discipleship Oriented Places for Spiritual Exploration

20 Church growth through the 80’s based on attracting people to a particular community through programs Today’s framework is Discipleship and Spirituality Authentic engagement – not committee membership Coaching, community and nurturing Worship wars are irrelevant for under 40; excellence, spirituality and how I am different on Monday as a result of Sunday

21 Greater percentage of the population raised outside of the church Counter-cultural Spiritual Exploration Spiritual center without doctrinal rigidity Safe place without fear of rejection Spiritual but not religious

22 People live longer 2010 average life expectancy all races Men 76.2 Women average life expectancy all races Men 70 Women average life expectancy all races Men 58.1 Women ’s most people died in their 30’s

23 2010 Census – US Population 308,745,538 An increase of 9.7% Breakdown White – 72.4% African American – 12.6% Native American - 0.9% Asian 4.8% Hispanic 16.3% Pacific Islander / Hawaiian 0.2% Bi-racial 2.9% Number is greater than 100% because people can check more than one category

24 US Average All Other – 5% Hispanic – 43% 2042 – no longer a majority race in the United States. COMPONENT SETTINGS FOR MAY 2012 One birth every8 seconds One death every13 seconds One international migrant (net) every46 seconds Net gain of one person every14 seconds

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26 Sustainable Difficult to sustain GrowingDeclining F OUR Q UADRANTS OF C ONGREGATIONAL L IFE

27 10% 23% 4% 46% 17% 63% declining Source: The Yearbook DISCIPLES CONGREGATIONS TODAY

28 Energy Intimacy Program Administration -Energy -Intimacy -Program -Administration Financial Viability

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30 Energy Intimacy Program Administration -Energy -Intimacy -Program -Administration Financial Viability

31 Energy Intimacy Program Administration -Energy -Intimacy -Program -Administration Financial Viability

32 Ask the vitality question Great Commandment + Great Commission= 10 Outreach + 0 new members / baptisms= 10 Great Commandment X Great Commission = 10 Outreach x 0 new members / baptisms= 0

33 Re-focus mission What need exists in our community today that we seek to address People don’t know the stories of Jesus Spiritual, but not religious Re-focus vision In three to five years we will… In three to five years as a result of…

34 Characteristics of growing congregations High spiritual vitality Worship that joyfully connects to the Holy and connects to compelling opportunities for response Distinctive purpose (mission / vision) Willingness to evolve (5 yrs)

35 Looking at the next size congregation What do they do How do they do it What can we learn What do we need to do to “get there”

36 What do our numbers say? Age of attendees Average worship attendance Small group participation Financial viability What about our community? Who lives around us? What are their needs?

37 If we weren’t doing “x” today would we begin it, because it is key to who we are, what we do and how we understand ourselves as a community?

38 Have someone from the outside who does not know the church “mystery shop” the congregation. How were they received? Could they find the sanctuary? What wasn’t in the worship bulletin?

39 Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation New Beginnings Assessment Service helps congregations in decline assess their strengths and weaknesses through missional refocusing.

40 Joyful Noise Do you believe…?

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