Presentation on theme: "Culture, Community and Church David Schoen Evangelism Ministry Team Local Church Ministries United Church of Christ Including material used with permission."— Presentation transcript:
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
Congregational life has changed too: Mimeograph Yellow pages Volunteers Hospital visits Organ Stairs Committees Budgets
Churches are stressed today: Sustainability levels Generational Challenges Population shift Birth rates Numerous cultural factors
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
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.
For church development purposes we tend to think of two main cohorts: Boomer +The rest of those youngsters…
Dominant values and behaviors of older boomers and older groups Whatever is right for the group is right for me Appreciate sameness (i.e. Traditional liturgy) Committee structures that are tried and true Deferred pleasure until you have what you need to make the purchase Spirituality of place Organize as a group to form a block (tenacious about position) Circle the wagons; get people on your team to protect whats important Get it done! 35% of the US Population
Dominant behaviors of young boomers and younger groups: Ask first, what is good for the individual Individualized style and differentiation Appreciate Difference/multiple choices Trained to look for segments of population so that one size never fits all See themselves as the correctors of the previous generations Spirituality of journey…find spiritual insight wherever they are and in relationship, not primarily place Tribal 65% of the US Population
Churches didnt use to worry about generations… Founders Their children Grandchildren & families A few transplants Stephen Compton
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
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
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
Age of Protestant Populations – Total Population Total Protestants Nondenom Charismatic Churches Nondenom Evangelical Churches Church of God in Christ Assemblies of God American Baptist Churches Southern Baptist Convention African Methodist Episcopal United Methodist Church Ev. Lutheran Church of America Disciples of Christ Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod Presbyterian Church in America Episcopal Church in the USA Presbyterian Church USA United Church of Christ Anglican Church
Beloit Mindset: Typical 28 year old… They can never think of a time without computers in the home They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era, and did not know he had ever been shot. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart, and do not remember the Cold War. They have never feared a nuclear war. "The Day After" is a pill to themnot a movie. Their lifetime has always included AIDS. Bottle caps have not always been screw off, but have always been plastic. They have no idea what a pull top can looks like. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. Star Wars looks very fake to them, and the special effects are pathetic. They may never have heard of an 8-track, and chances are they've never heard or seen one. They have always had an answering machine. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black & white TV or a TV without a remote! There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what Beta is.
They were born the year Walkmen were introduced by Sony. Roller-skating has always meant in-line for them. "The Tonight Show" has always been with Jay Leno. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI and WWII or even the Civil War. They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are. They don't know who Mork was, or where he was from. They never heard the terms "Where's the Beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" or "De plane, de plane!" They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is. The Titanic was found? I thought we always knew where it was. Michael Jackson has always been white. McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers. There has always been MTV, and it has always included non- musical shows.
Another cultural factor is Population Shift: The majority of housing in the US was built since Population has moved to metropolitan areas Migration to South and coasts Population has moved away from existing congregations!
Birth Rates: Since the pill Anglo birth rates dropping / / Mainline Anglos have a very low birth-rate due to aging populations VERY Little Biological Growth!
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
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
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%!
Racial Ethnic Birth Rates: African Am Native Am Asian Pac. I Hispanic 22.6 (Anglo 11.7) Per 1000 Most future growth will be in Racial Ethnic congregations
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.
Shifting attitudes towards faith
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
New Generations – Outsiders to Christian Faith Age% OutsidersPopulation to Christianity %34 Million %24 Million %21 Million 61+23%12 Million
Mr. Bean Goes to Church
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 percent -- agreed that God "actually exists and an even larger percentage percent -- said they believed they could have a good relationship with God without church involvement.
Its a Whole New World UCCvitality.org
21 st Century Culture and Church Post-Modern – Its a Whole New World Big Five of hallmark modern values: Anthony Robertson Reason Optimism & Objectivity Universality & The Grand Story
21 st Century Culture and Church Post-Modern - Modern World is crumbling Reason Where moderns wanted their preachers to explain mystery, post-moderns want to experience mystery. Optimism Post-moderns are not so sure that salvation is around the corner or that science and technology are our saviors. Universality Post-moderns revel in the local and the particular.
21 st Century Culture and Church Post-Modern - Modern World is crumbling Objectivity Everybody is coming from somewhere, say post- moderns. What you call objective truth, we call the interests of the powerful and privileged. the grand story Post-moderns tend to be skeptics about this big story. Small stories, particular stories, and different versions of reality appeal to the post-modern mind.
21 st Century Culture and Church Post-Modern – Its a Whole New World While modernity was liberating and powerful in many ways, it was also and especially for Christianity, reductive. highly moral, but not especially spiritual modern Christianity explained miracle and mystery (away) and proposed moral values and lessons as universal truth. What was missing was spiritual connection and experience, the experience of a sacred, numinous, transcendent Other.
21 st Century Culture and Church Post-Modern - Modern World is crumbling In the last thirty years while interest in spirituality has been huge People felt yet church was not the best place to pursue their spiritual interests. Transformation was lacking
We are all at a threshold, a kairos moment: God is Still Speaking has shown that the harvest is ready. There has been a great response of people looking for a church like the United Church of Christ.
Vital churches know the culture and engage in their community God is still speaking to us in culture and community. Gods purpose is that our communities are not forsaken or the land desolate. Church no longer center of community, but it can be good neighbor. Church can accompany community to be all that Gods realm would want the community to be.
Location, Location, Location? Congregational Life Survey points to the relative unimportance of location in predicting either congregational strength or numerical growth. Congregational location plays a minimal role in the numerical growth that congregations experience. Few measures of location had an impact on strength or growth. Vital growing congregations, as well as non-vital declining congregations can be found in any location. Places of Promise: Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location: US Congregation Survey 2008
Places of Promise Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location Traditionally we think about context as location. In this view: Community context determines who we were, what we are, and what our future holds. Congregations are passivelocation has the upper hand! Leaders use contractual language about locationour location is a piece of real estate with a specific land value, appraised as a retail outlet might appraise a location. Its a commodity.
Places of Promise Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location InsteadThink about context as place. Location is Gods gift to us. The congregation is in this place at this time for a reasonGods reason. Congregations can achieve strength and effectiveness in their present location. God claimed this place for us; the place claims us as people of faith. We have inherited this place from those who first worshiped here, and we have an obligation to use it wisely and care for it.
Places of Promise Finding Strength in Your Congregations Location Questions to be asked: How did our congregation come to be in this location? What is our birth story? Why has God planted us here? What significant things have happened in this location that continue to shape our ministry? What do we believe are the strengths of our location? What steps can we take to build on the strengths of our location? Who is in our community that we can reach out to?
Vital churches are engaged in community where they are located No congregation can afford to ignore its context or those in the surrounding community. Congregations that live only for themselves are starting a trip toward extinction. Herb Miller, How to Build a Magnetic Church Vital congregations are vital on the corner of Gods realm where they are planted. Gil Rendle
Community Involvement = Growth? Involvement or focus on the community does not necessarily lead to growth Congregations scoring high on focusing on the community place considerable emphasis on serving the needs of those outside the congregation. They may de-emphasize or overlook the importance of inviting people to become part of the congregation and welcoming them warmly when they visit. Focusing on the community must be one of the other aspects of vitality, including welcoming new people, meaningful worship, caring for children and youth, engagement in the congregation and a sense of belonging. Places of Promise
The One important factor The one location factor that does play a role in congregational vitality is the match between a congregations worshipers and the people in the community who are between 18 and 44 years of age. This critical age group must be recruited and openly welcomed in our congregations and we need to ensure our worship and activities meet their needs.
Know your neighborhood Know your mission field Demographic Information Uccvitality.org (ucc.org/vitality) Percept Mission Insite Using Demographic Information Community knowledge Missional outreach and program
Ready, Set, Grow V I T A L I T Y
Online Demographics Report
Knowing Your Neighborhood
Project: Work on your target neighborhoods What did you learn? Did the data confirm something you suspected? Did you consider that a target neighborhood may not be immediately surrounding your church? How do you use this demographic information? V I T A L I T Y
And in Conclusion…… Seven Vital Lessons The Stillspeaking God is calling the Church to reach out to an unchurched world as a sign and instrument of Gods realm in its community. Vital congregation listens for and seeks out the still speaking God in culture and its community. Vital congregation finds transformation and vitality in its location.
Vital congregation is driven to discern, articulate and live Gods calling and purpose for church and community. Vital congregation is relational and conversational in outreach. Vital congregation engages cultures tools, especially the web to reach out to world of seekers. And in Conclusion…… Seven Missional Lessons