Here's a powerful and interesting take on the challenges facing mainline churches, from Mike Rinehart, who is the bishop of the Louisiana Gulf Coast synod of the ELCA. Among other things, he writes that:
The turnaround of the mainline churches will happen when we in those churches care as much about those outside the church, as we do those inside. To embrace relevance, we will have to let go of survival.
What do you think?
What a great string of words, huh? They're also the attributes that two stellar theologians -- Robin Steinke and Gary Simpson -- attach to the creeds. The two of them have an engaging dialogue about the creeds in the most recent issue of The Lutheran magazine.
Ever wonder how the world around us is changing, and how we might speak of God's promise in the middle of those changes? Here's a very brief look at just some of the demographic changes facing one particular church -- the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- from the director of multicultural ministries of the ELCA:
Dr. David Lose weighs in on the future of seminaries, and theological education, with this provocative statement:
I'd argue the single most significant cause of decline is far simpler: most seminaries are training leaders for a church and world that no longer exists.
Lose references Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk's book, The Missional Leader, and the three zones that organizations and their leaders dwell in: the emergent, the performative and the reactive.
Ironically, it is our well-founded confidence …
Dee Pederson talks about building cross-cultural relationships in Saint Cloud, Minn., forming the connective tissue between members who don't share the same culture or language.
Dee Pederson: Many Cultures and Languages from Discerning Mission on Vimeo.