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Christ was and is always on the move, and so is His Spirit in His Church. Sorry to disappoint you my friend, I am not a pastor.


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I have been called to the work of a Evangelist. The church is indeed dying in its original commission. There is a Hell. It is a horrible place and a lost soul will spend eternity there. I have not heard a message on Hell in years. Plenty of messages on GOD wants you to be rich, feel good about oneself.

But, not one word about SIN. How it is destroying lives, families. There is only ONE morally positive organization on the face of this earth…the church! When the church loses that one and only message then the society the church was charged to constrain from sin.

In ten years , or less. Not one has a thing to do with chasing society and its latest fads. Hello Michael. We are the church, the body of Christ, started by Paul, our apostle. Jesus was sent not but for the lost sheep of Israel. Our salvation is not found in confessing our sins, being water baptized, ect. Paul also tells us we will be judged according to his gospel. This is a no-works gospel, unlike that given to Israel. Grace and Peace. Carey, great post. I look forward to how you continue to break this down in the future.

One thing for leaders to consider is their own community and if resources are limited what they need to provide most — the digital immanence, or the analog community. I think this is where small churches need to leverage the available quality material of others that already have a digital presence while pursuing excellence in local relationship and discipleship. This is an accurate evaluation of trends that have been already occurring and increasing in the church for the last five years or so.

The question that every church needs to ask is what if any of these do we need to adopt, which of these can we do effectively with the resources of people and finances we have and where do we start. Knowing that many churches have limited resources it might be wise to start with those that are easiest to implement. Having said that I think the salient point made in this article is 6. I feel the need to tweak this response just a tad.

Even though I agree with a lot of John F. I got into my first real small group experience with authentic community back in the mids when I was an undergraduate. This is one way to take notice. Any others out there? My observation is that nothing was mentioned in regards to children and ministry. I love offering live feed into homes and believe it is so helpful in many ways — both to the believer and those we are seeking to reach.

But I have a huge value on the attendance of children at our church. What are your thoughts in this regard? As well, could you comment on what you did to increase the viewership of your live feed? I think virtually every point Carey makes is completely relevant to ministry with young people. If anything they are probably further down these roads than some of our leaders, and much further than many of our seniors. I mean they are already at the point of being digital people living in a virtual world which is completely real for them.

And this means that the aches of living virtually are theirs as well, probably mores than some of us older types. I think the real question is how will we, as leaders, and as leaders of leaders, respond to these trends as we see them operating in our various contexts. And, as usual, the first step is awareness of some of the issues.

There are a lot of great blogs more focused on that area by people who lead those programs, while Carey focuses on broader church leadership, because that is what he does. Maybe even something simple like hosting a video of a skit done on the previous Sunday with follow up questions for parents to ask their kids to give some middle of the week reinforcement to the concepts discussed on Sunday. Just a thought off the top of my head, but the point is it is worth pondering over.

I think the Orange philosophy handles 1 and 7 very well as it makes small group leaders the real heroes and empowers them to partner with parents. To actually answer one of your questions, my thoughts on live feeds and children attending a physical church is a both and situation.

Will you take the Bible to the toughest parts of Africa?

I believe there is a huge benefit to a consistent Sunday service, but we can also do more to reach our communities and make it easy for non-believers to interact with God. Jesus completely shook up the traditional ministry model, and I think that gives us permission to do the same. As long as His teachings stay at the center, I believe God enjoys watching our creativity in bringing His Word to the world.

Carey, is there any easy way to get the posts from here in a printer-friendly format? I like your thinking!


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Church buildings and uses have been out of Business for years. No Secular business could afford to be in business as their building only being used for 3 or 4 hours a week. Jesus is our model of the shepherd of a church He is building! Are we following the Jewish synagogue religion who has maybe numbered 18 million worldwide.

You leaders today are sharp, smart! Carey, I wish I could get you to speak to leadership at my church. These are the things that could totally change that. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! Love this. Awesome stuff mate! The church needs to be working towards omni-channel experiences in the same way Walmart, Starbucks and Home Depot. The church needs to catch up. Thank you Carey for this wonderful article. I am already aware that there is need for catching up with the changing trends but not sure on how to adapt these suggestions in a local church in rural Nigeria.

Thanks Carey. Decoding the city we live and serve means we should assess trends each year and make adjustments. This kind of list helps so many. Thanks for giving it thought and presenting it so well. Thank you Carey! These trends are a part of facing the brutal facts of doing ministry today! After 24 years in one SoCal church, I have seen lots of changes, but none like the last years.

You are spot on…keep the conversation coming. As an aging team, we long to stay relevant without losing our edge to speak truth in a transformative way. Hi servant of God, sister Heather, praise God? Again, both are perfectly valid, but there is definitely a difference in how those over 50 and those under 50 look at church. Thank you for your insights that help us all see these trends and how to address them! I am looking forward to this conversation continuing! Right there. Not try to run each other outta Dodge. I apologize if this is presumptuous for me to reply in this manner, but see my comment above.

Thanks, Chuck! If the young can see the old willing to embrace more modern ways for their benefit, those young people will be so much more willing to learn to appreciate the traditional things and learn the value in that. It could be a win-win scenario, everyone learning from each other, if only we would all focus on giving to each other instead of holding so tightly to what we want.

Also, I took the High Impact Leader course and it was incredibly helpful. You will be more effective in as a result!

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While I will recommend this article to others, I will take time to pray over and digest this to see how that applies to jail. Thanks for this more than I can say. Happy New Year, before I get started. To get right to my response… I see currently, and continuing, a battle between cultures past and present. Preachers vs. Team leads vs. Babysitting vs. Find the secret sauce to make those two entities work TOGETHER, as opposed to resist each other, and you have healthier, more intergenerational community and a healthier church environment.

Do I have the answer as to how to do that? And I may never find it. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. If anything, the pace is accelerating, not slowing. The gap between how quickly you change and how quickly things change is called irrelevance. Posted in Connexus , Leadership , Mission , Podcast , Spiritual Growth , Strategy , Vision and tagged , church leadership , church trends , change , church trends , culture , digital church.

Dwight on May 14, at am. Elizabeth S on March 31, at am. Did you realize that you wrote this entire article and did not include a single scripture? ServingLove on February 13, at am. Matthew Weber on February 4, at pm. Vicky red on May 11, at am.

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Dave on December 26, at pm. Studied this out about 20 years ago and it was very helpful. Clarified some things for me. Thanks for your article. Gigirandria on January 6, at am. Betty neace on April 29, at pm. Richard on December 25, at am. Thanks for your valuable resources keep share the information like this….


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Maricica S on December 16, at am. Kevin Rohr on December 8, at pm. DP on November 25, at pm. Marilyn Albanese on November 20, at am. How confidant are you that Jesus is going to come back? Don Jones on October 23, at am. Jerry Wamsley on October 9, at am. Raynard on September 20, at pm. Ella Salamat on August 26, at pm. Donna on October 19, at pm. Mark on October 30, at pm. Brittany on November 24, at pm.

Chuck on July 15, at pm. Alex van Donkersgoed on June 16, at pm. Carey, I read this article when it was first published early this year. Thank you for all you do. Andrew Lau on May 23, at am. Nelson Muller on May 5, at pm. Aaron on April 13, at am. Sandra G on February 28, at am. Deb S on August 1, at pm. Shirla on January 31, at pm. I hear you!

Sounds just like what God would say! Tom on February 16, at am. Curtiss Hartley on March 30, at pm. Chuck on February 4, at pm. Christa on December 2, at pm. RTB on February 5, at pm. Tracey on May 18, at am. Oh, and the OP original post was right on! The prayer of Jabez comes to mind. Thank you Carey. RTB on January 31, at pm. Mary on January 21, at am. Josh Richter on January 20, at am. Chuck on January 20, at am. Craig on February 18, at am. Ben DiStefano on January 16, at am. Justina on January 7, at pm.

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Mike Amos on January 5, at pm. Carey Great article! Jerry Sweat on January 4, at am. Nellie on January 4, at am.

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Tamika on January 10, at am. Friendly Neighborhood Troll on March 19, at pm. So, yes, it is all about the numbers. Angela Craig on January 3, at pm. It is out of the box and working. Glenn Davies on January 3, at pm. Michael Davis on January 3, at pm. It overwhelmed and confused me. At last [after attending your event], the Old Testament made sense to me! I decided to devote myself to reading the Bible, and by the end of , God willing, I completed my 20th read. Your ministry sparked a twenty-year fascination. And Walk Thru the Bible can get you there.

We want to talk with you about improving biblical engagement in your church and share how otLIVE and ntLIVE can inspire your congregation in a fresh and exciting way. Please fill out the following form to receive your free gift and a follow-up from Walk Thru the Bible support staff who will answer your questions and guide you through every step of the process. If you're interested in attending not hosting an event, click here to learn more. Who cares? We know the transformation is real, but how do we fix the engagement problem? We can. I also value receiving peer group feedback and hearing suggestions for strengthening my own sermons.

I serve a small African-American church with about members. Hearing the struggles, challenges, and celebrations of my peers—especially experiences that cross various cultural boundaries—creates a common bond for the group. If I can give them one concept, theme, morsel, or seed that will make them think about the message on their way home, then I am pleased. I am truly delighted when people in my congregation say they discuss my sermons over Sunday dinner using the sermon outline provided in the bulletin.

I believe that the Bible is the living Word of God. It becomes the living Word to the congregation when we bring the people in the Bible to life. We need to unpack their stories and retell them using all the creativity we can—imagery, props, music, creative thinking, critical thinking, and more—as led by the Holy Spirit. In my church, sermons must be engaging because the preached Word is considered the highlight of our worship service. The pressure is on to deliver a powerful, dynamic, engaging, thought-provoking thirty-minute sermon.

That pressure was magnified when I first preached for my peer group, knowing that they would be evaluating and critiquing the message from various perspectives.

I was quite terrified. I edited the sermon to about twenty minutes to keep it flowing while I exegeted Acts —32 in a storytelling format. Many said they had never heard narrative, didactic preaching that was so engaging.