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Church Vitality and Faithful Discipleship in Difficult Times David Schoen Evangelism Ministry Team Local Church Ministries United Church of Christ Including.

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Presentation on theme: "Church Vitality and Faithful Discipleship in Difficult Times David Schoen Evangelism Ministry Team Local Church Ministries United Church of Christ Including."— Presentation transcript:

1 Church Vitality and Faithful Discipleship in Difficult Times David Schoen Evangelism Ministry Team Local Church Ministries United Church of Christ Including material used with permission from Rick Morse, V.P. New Church Ministry, Christian Church (DOC) Church Extension © 2007 All rights reserved















16 ITS A WHOLE NEW WORLD Taxes done in India McDonalds order taken 2 states away Hundreds of marketing choices in any area Instant communication 44% of Christians change traditions/denominations 60-80% Unchurched

17 Churches are stressed today: Sustainability levels Generational Challenges Population shift Birth rates Numerous cultural factors

18 Sustainability Levels 1930: 30 AWA 2000: 130 AWA Factors leading to growing sustainability factor: Health Insurance & other benefits Higher cost of construction Utility costs Lack of volunteers BASICALLY EVERYTHING

19 More generations today than ever… Gen Z (0-6) Millennials (7-26) Survivors (27-43) Boomers (44-62) Silents (63-80) Builders (81+) Each generation has unique events that formed it, and a different view of life.

20 Churches didnt use to worry about generations… Founders Their children Grandchildren & families A few transplants Stephen Compton

21 Many Churches have Lost a generation or 2: Churches do not anticipate loosing youth…(even though that has been the pattern for 40 years) Young adults report: Relocation after college or school Difficulty in assimilation because church style IF they visitlittle generational affinity Most mainline youth become unchurched Roof and McKinney

22 Another part of the issue is membership orientation Pay dues…sign line EXPECT care, access, privilege, control, service by staff…etc. Loses vision for a mission that can be characterized by Gods love in Christ for the world. It is Exclusive The post-modern world has little interest in membership organizations POWER SURGE, Michael Foss

23 The result is aging congregations While the younger cohort equals 65% of the population, they are only on average about 30% of existing congregations Growing Gaps in understanding

24 Age of Protestant Populations 18-29 30–49 50-6465+ Total Population 20 39 25 16 Total Protestants 17 38 26 20 Nondenom Charismatic Churches 18 54 22 6 Nondenom Evangelical Churches19 51 22 8 Church of God in Christ 29 33 28 10 Assemblies of God 14 41 33 12 American Baptist Churches 18 36 23 23 Southern Baptist Convention 13 37 27 22 African Methodist Episcopal 14 31 30 25 United Methodist Church 11 34 29 26 Ev. Lutheran Church of America 8 36 29 27 Disciples of Christ 10 33 21 35 Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod 11 32 31 26 Presbyterian Church in America 12 29 32 27 Episcopal Church in the USA 11 29 34 25 Presbyterian Church USA 8 31 30 32 United Church of Christ 11 27 34 28 Anglican Church 7 26 33 35

25 Another cultural factor is Population Shift: The majority of housing in the US was built since 1970. Population has moved to metropolitan areas Migration to South and coasts Population has moved away from existing congregations!

26 Rural/Metropolitan 196050/50 200020/80 Many congregations are located in areas with declining population

27 Birth Rates: Since the pill Anglo birth rates dropping 1960 24/1000 2000 13/1000 2002 11.7 Mainline Anglos have a very low birth-rate due to aging populations VERY Little Biological Growth!

28 There has been significant change in our racial-ethnic population Racial ethnic composition of most neighborhoods has changed since 1960 Many congregations have little or no affinity with their neighbors

29 Racial ethnic growth must be recognized Ethnic growth: In the next 50 years the US Pop. Will grow by 50%. 90% of that growth will be people of color In 2000, Hispanics became the largest racial ethnic minority The US has the 3 rd largest Spanish speaking population By 2050 there will be no majority racial group By 2100 Hispanics will be the largest group

30 Did you know? More people of African descent live in America than any country except Nigeria More Cubans live in Miami except than in Havana In the 90s the Asian population grew by 107%, Hispanics by 38%, Native Americans by 38% while the general population grew by just 6%!

31 Racial Ethnic Birth Rates: African Am. 16.1 Native Am. 13.8 Asian Pac. I. 16.5 Hispanic 22.6 (Anglo 11.7) Per 1000 Most future growth will be in Racial Ethnic congregations

32 There is also a shifting attitude towards organized religion 65% of the US population cannot remember a time when clergy were respected. Denominational loyalty means nothing to most people. The average person believes that no particular religion has claim to truth.

33 Shifting attitudes towards faith

34 Since 1991 adult population in the US grew by 15%. During that same period the unchurched population grew by 92%! 75 million US adults do not attend church 'Unchurched' Americans say church is 'full of hypocrites' consider Christianity to be more about organized religion than about loving God and people, …unchristian. Unchurched USA

35 New Generations – Outsiders to Christian Faith Age% OutsidersPopulation to Christianity 61+23%12 Million 42-6027%21 Million 18-4137%34 Million 16-29 40%24 Million

36 44 percent -- agreed that "Christians get on my nerves. Vast majority of young non-Christians view Christianity as anti-gay, judgmental hypocritical, unwelcoming, too political, out of touch. But 78 percent said they would be willing to listen to someone who wanted to tell them about his or her Christian beliefs. Almost three-quarters -- 72 percent -- agreed that God "actually exists and an even larger percentage -- 86 percent -- said they believed they could have a good relationship with God without church involvement.

37 Postmodern Culture and Church Christianity in North America has moved (or been moved) away from its position of dominance loss not only of numbers but of power and influence within society. Rather than occupying a central and influential place, North American Christian churches are increasingly marginalized, in our urban areas they represent a minority movement It is now a truism to speak of North America as a mission field. Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Edited by Darrell Guder, the Gospel and Our Culture Network


39 Becoming the Vital Churches and Disciples that Tomorrow Requires We are all at a threshold, a kairos moment: Where will we be in 2020?

40 Exodus 3:13 - 15 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM."

41 YAHWEH I Will Be What Tomorrow Requires

42 The Future Question God will be what the future demands, but,……. Will we be the churches and disciples that tomorrow requires?

43 Vital churches and faithful disciples are missional minded Missional in purpose The Church exists to serve Gods Mission Mission as Missio Dei, UCC Committee on Structure, 1992

44 Missional Church The Church exists to serve Gods Mission Mission as Missio Dei, UCC Committee on Structure, 1992 The church of Jesus Christ is the instrument and sign of Gods mission and realm. Gods mission is calling and sending us, the church of Jesus Christ, to be a missionary church in our own societies, in the cultures in which we find ourselves.

45 What are signs of Missional Church and Disciples? Missional congregations and disciples clear sense of purpose Missional congregations and disciples are sent forth Missional congregations and disciples reach out beyond themselves Missional congregations and disciples Find joy not in being served but in serving

46 Resources for Missional Congregations Ready, Set, Grow Resources on Vital-o-Meter Discovering your Congregations Strengths Discerning your Congregations Mission Its a Whole New World Anthony Robertson Vitality Interviews Vitality Powerpoint - Retreat Resources

47 In these tough times…. God has a future for the church The stillspeaking God calls us to be Churches that the future requires Churches that tough times demand Missional in purpose

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