Days are numbered for an educational environment that does not address real-time issues. In today’s virtual classroom, students from all walks of life, geographic locations, and educational backgrounds have a plethora of relevant options to explore referencing their educational endeavors.
We’ve decided to quit being a welcoming church. No kidding. We’re giving it up. It won’t be easy, but we’re committed to it.
Imagine that instead of coming to church, listening to a sermon for [insert your churches sermon length] ending with a few questions which no one talks about (except maybe a brief mention over coffee), the congregation listened to the sermon before coming (it could even be a famous preachers sermon or the pastor could record one).
I am blessed to share life with family and friends who would count themselves among the “none”s. The stories of their disaffiliation from Christianity are heart- and soul-wrenching to me. When I hear them, I can’t help feeling that as a Christian, I’m not doing enough to make Christ evident.
We all keep time. But not all in the same way. Muslims have particular calendar based on the lunar month; Jews another - a lunisolar calendar with month added every one or two years so that months continue to align with the changing location of the sun. We Christians too have a calendar - the Liturgical calendar, a sacred and holy calendar of seven seasons.
When you look out your window into the street and around the community, what are today’s children doing and what are their pressing unmet needs? Are they hungry and homeless, easy victims of drugs and gangs? Are they in need of tutoring or medical services, in need of After School or weekday care?
Now, the world needs opportunities for new leaders and new ideas. Kids need opportunities to lead and succeed. Are you ready to make the match? Because the world's problems shouldn't be the human family's heirloom.
Our kids are leaving our churches not because of something “out there,” not because of “the culture,” but because we are teaching them in our churches that faith is unimportant in everyday life, that religious identity is private and largely decorative, and that religious commitment is mostly about being nice and feeling good about oneself and others.
As a professional Christian educator, too often I have believed that my job is to meet parents’ expectations: to provide curricula and program that will give their children a half-hour or an hour of Christian formation, once a week. After all, that’s how Christian formation works . . . isn’t it?
The emerging role of the faith formation curator is to research a wider variety of content and experiences available from a great diversity of sources, assess and evaluate its quality and appropriateness, organize the content, and then make available the content and experiences to people (delivery).
Stewardship extends far beyond money; it is indeed our responsibility to care for everything that God has given us, including our own gifts and talents—our treasures.
Opening avenues of dialogue and networking are key to fully engaging the internet and the host of positive relationships that can be forged with people who may not otherwise walk through your sanctuary doors.
When it comes to stewardship (whether it be of time, talent, or treasure) every generation approaches giving in different ways. Each generation has its own characteristics and tendencies that will affect their motivation giving, which can vary according to income, race, education, region of the country, and attendance.
Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a baby boomer. This year the first of my generational co-horts are turning sixty-five. Granted, I'm at the tail end of this generation, but retirement and slowing down to stop and smell the roses is beginning to sound more and more appealing. But I'm not ready for the rocking chair - unless its with a good book and good conversation.
Congregations are challenged to engage people where their live (physical and virtual communities), build relationships, engage in spiritual conversations, and offer programs and activities that nurture their spiritual growth.
Emerging churches are deeply, profoundly rooted in context. Context is the traditions that have made us who we are. Context is also the local situation.
How is your church addressing the spiritual and religious needs of people in a variety of scenarios through faith formation today?
The pastor, staff, and faith formation leaders see the changes occurring in their church, in their community, and in the world, and wonder what the future holds for them. If present trends continue what impact will they have on the future of the church? What will happen if the church doesn’t respond to the challenges, if faith formation is not aligned well with the life situations and the spiritual needs of people today and in the future?
If the Church is to take seriously the larger context of its universal mission, it needs to note the cultural shifts and current background of life for children and young people, all the while remembering that they are human beings, made in the image of God.
The juxtaposition of these two would-be opposites, popularized by Robert Webber in his numerous writings on the effects of the early church on contemporary worship, describes one important aspect of the emerging church movement.