The Bible is a lot like the love messages parents receive from their children, Pastor Keith Anderson of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church says in a new YouTube video. “The Bible can be a messy, complicated, confusing book, but at the heart of the Bible is this message: ‘I love you. Love, God.” Short, direct video messages of inspiration can be easily shared via social media, and are easy for “wired” congregation members to share in their social circles. Read more
In the Huffington Post, Derek Penwell writes that many young adults don’t want the “treasures” that their parents/grandparents have been accumulating for them. The trend applies to the church as well, he says. He writes that “churches with massive overhead invested in things like church buildings, denominational infrastructures, functional church organizational models…are awakening to the fact that the generations that are supposed to be taking the institutional baton are showing very little interest in grabbing for it.” Read more
Pastor Matt Staniz from St. Luke, Devon, shared an idea in the ELCA Clergy Facebook group: St. Luke’s features lay preachers at midweek worship during Lent and in the summer. Preachers are given a theme and select a text to preach on, and the pastors offer support and encouragement. “It’s been remarkable listening to people preach and witnessing how it equips them to proclaim, lead and discern how they are called to be the church,” he says.
Feeling disoriented by changes in church and culture? You’re not alone, as Bishop Burkat told a recent gathering of congregation council leaders. A “Great Emergence” is both opening new opportunities for Christianity and challenging the institutions formed in the last 500 years, she said. It’s part of a pattern of moving from orientation through disorientation to reorientation that the church has experienced every half-millennium. The shifts are real, and present opportunities for congregations and not reason to panic, said Bob Fisher, assistant to the bishop. Read more