Weekly Link Roundup 01092015
The Weekly Link Roundup consists of select articles from my reading around the Internet this past week. You can see all of my bookmarks on Pinboard.
Tom Rainer published a two-part post highlighting his 15 predictions for the American Church in 2015. Some I found interesting include:
- The Elimination of the Sunday Evening Worship Service. Chris’ Take: Rainer notes that less than 5 percent of churches still offer a Sunday evening service. I have mixed emotions about this. I understand the motivation (my church doesn’t offer a Sunday evening service in favor of small groups), but at the same time I see the emphasis on teaching within the church declining. It wasn’t long ago that churches offered three in-depth teaching times during the Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services. Most churches offered Sunday School on top of this. That’s four separate teaching times that have been replaced with one Sunday morning service and a small group time. Motivates me to become more diligent in seeking alternative methods of teaching the Bible in the 21st Century.
- Continued flow of people from smaller churches to larger churches. There will be a continued increase in the number of attendees in churches with an average worship attendance of 1,000 and larger. Churches with an attendance of 400 to 999 will be collectively stable in attendance. And the number of people attending church in congregations with an attendance under 400 will decline. Chris’ Take: This trend appears to mirror an overall trend in America as we see rural communities shrinking, small school districts combining, local merchants struggling, and the rise of everything big… big box stores, chain restaurants, bigger malls, etc. The challenge for larger churches is to keep the focus on the core values of a New Testament church: celebrating (worship), growing (discipleship), and serving (ministry).
- The tipping point for small groups. The evidence for the efficacy of small groups in the local church is too overwhelming to be ignored. I see a new movement of “groups” taking place that will be similar in growth as the Sunday school movement was in the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Chris’ Take: This is a good balance to the trend of more people attending larger churches. Obviously, if a large church is going to function as a healthy church, moving people into small groups is one of the answers. The trick is to keep the small groups focused on prayer, Bible study, serving, and koinonia fellowship, and not simply social activities.
- What is on your TODAY list?
- What is on your calendar today?
- What do you need to bring with you?
- What is your number 1 task for the day?
- What is one task that you could do today that you wouldn’t have?
- What are you doing that you shouldn’t be?
- Where will you waste time today?
- What new habit do you need to practice (DO) today?
- What step toward your goals will you take today?
- What will you learn today?