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11 traits of churches that will impact the future

11 traits of churches that will impact the future

At his blog Carey Nieuwhof notes 11 trait of churches that will impact the future:

… I think a few trends are becoming clear. Not all of these might be correct, but I think the following eleven traits describe the kind of churches that will have a significant impact a decade from now. The wise leader is taking steps today to position their church to respond to these things.


Here’s what I see as hallmarks of the churches that will make an impact in the next decade:

1. The ability to say no. One of the reasons churches don’t change is because leaders are unwilling to say no to current members who prefer things the way they were. When you learn to say no to the preferences of some current members, you learn to say yes to a community that is ready to be reached. (For more on learning to say no, see this post.)

2. Outsider focus. Churches that become passionate about people outside their walls will be far more effective than churches that are passionate about keeping the few people they have inside their walls. Better still, you will have a healthier church. We call individuals who are fixated on their wants and needs selfish and immature. Selfless and mature churches will have an impact because of their passion for people God cares about.

3. Quick decision making. Can your church or organizations make quick decisions? If not, amend your constitution so you can. If the congregation needs to vote on everything, just realize this is going to be your achilles heel when it comes to making the changes you need to make.

Read them all here


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Eric Bonetti

Quick decisionmaking? Given that it took us 30+ years to implement GLBT equality, the day that happens surely will be a miracle of the first order.

Eric Bonetti

Weiwen Ng

Some of this is exactly what I have been trying to say about worship, both in a congregation that leans older and on Episcopal Cafe.

It is my sense that the Episcopal Church, on average, leans traditional in liturgy. Some of our churches are very very traditional (e.g. St. Paul’s on K street), and some are more experimental (a couple I’ve been to in Michigan). That’s fine. We can experiment within the bounds of our existing tradition: for example, one of my previous churches essentially did Jazz renditions of existing hymns, Taize chants and John Bell songs within the framework of an otherwise very high church liturgy (i.e. bells, incense, genuflecting, etc).

In other words, increased liturgical experimentation can be entirely compatible with our traditions. One of the Episcopal Church’s unique charisms to the world is ancient teachings plus the best of modern reason and it has worked out excellently, imo, for many of us: we have a religious framework by which we can accept LGBT rights, women’s equality, climate change, and all the rest while not abandoning our beliefs as Christians. This enables other Christians to do the same. And yet when I say we should do the same with our liturgy I hear too many people saying this will kill us all dead.

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