Bishop Steve Lane of the Diocese of Maine has asked clergy and members of his diocese to move “the front line” of their ministry out into the community. In Windham, the Rev. Tim Higgins is getting out of his office and into bars and cafes. The Lake Region Weekly reports:
Higgins said that a confluence of factors has led to the statewide decline in church attendance, including an increasing ethos of individualism, the popularity of Sunday morning youth sports, and the spread of a naturalistic spirituality.
“God used to be a part of giving the help to pull yourself up,” he said. “God’s not so much a part of folks’ daily lives, daily commitments, daily culture, I think. Just not as important, not as active. Folks are spiritual. There’s a whole new separation between spirituality and religion, whereby I can get my spirituality on the top of a mountain or in the river, or at the lake or something like that, which I agree with completely. But … we need one another, and church provides that community to help us grow in our faith, and then also grow in our spirituality with one another. You don’t get that on top of a mountain.”
In what ways are you and your congregation moving “the front line” forward into the community? What other ways might be possible?