Preaching through lecture

The End of Sermon Time as We Know It

The typical Sunday morning lecture time wasn’t working as well as it might. So, Pastor Rick Bundschuh set out to try some different approaches to engage his congregation, ignite their faith, and extend his messages well beyond the Sunday morning hour. Rick knew he’d be bucking centuries of methodological tradition–and challenging the self-identity of many  preachers […]

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Activated guy

Uprising in the Pews

Part of what is crippling the American church may actually lead to its renewal. Over the past few generations, the people–the church–have formed an entrenched mindset. It’s this: the work of the church–ministry–is something the people pay the professionals to do. The laity’s role is to simply watch the paid staff work, or perhaps to make a financial […]

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Church building crisis

Church Property: Boon or Bane?

Bricks and mortar are killing some churches–and opening opportunities for others. Grand old edifices that once stood as prominent, physical religious symbols in their communities may now overwhelm their congregations’ ability to sustain themselves financially. In the documentary When God Left the Building, a church leader says, “Within a quarter of a mile here there are five huge […]

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Worship ear plug

6 Must-Have Goodies for the Modern Church

At the start of another year I’m reflecting on the ever-emerging trends in vital equipment for the modern church. As I travel extensively around the country and world, I’ve noticed a number of popular items that were not commonplace in churches a decade ago. So, maybe it’s time to come out with a new catalog […]

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Armed Guard

Terror Tension: Guns in Church

As terror attacks continue abroad and closer to home, are Christian churches seen as a vulnerable “soft targets?” In addition to all the other challenges facing the Western church, now physical safety has risen as a growing concern. Has gathering for worship or other church activities become a palpable safety concern for the public? Will […]

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Frustrated memorizer

Exporting America’s Religious Duds

It’s a major American export. Church ministry methodology. Much of it is accomplishing great things for the sake of the Gospel. And some exported ministry practices are just, well, embarrassing. I’ve been traveling in South America, and visiting some churches and ministries. It’s really interesting to see how Protestant churches here often closely resemble North […]

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Once a week church

Is Once-a-Week Church Too Much?

The habit of weekly worship attendance has already taken a hit among American churchgoers. Now a move is afoot to offer the Sunday morning routine just once per month. Even people who describe themselves as regular churchgoers are attending less frequently these days. That’s one of the factors that is contributing to shrinking church attendance on […]

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Clergy exodus

The Pending Exit of the Clergy

At the conclusion of Group’s Future of the Church summit, someone asked me, “What struck you most this week?” My answer surprised even me. The summit participants had explored several major trends that will affect the future of the church. We considered the implications of the growing population of Dones–those who have left the organized church, […]

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Future Church: Tastes in Worship

The faithful gathered around candle-lit tables in the darkened room. They heard a reading of Psalm 34:8. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” They then tasted–literally. They selected small cups of various flavors and condiments. Some people discovered a familiar taste and reached for a second helping. Others gasped and chuckled as they felt […]

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Cuban house church

Incognito Zone: Where the Church Is Booming

The final leg of our cross-country trip brought us to a sequestered zone where the church is thriving. After flying over multiple states where the majority of congregations are stagnant or shrinking, we arrived in a land where church leaders are scrambling to keep up with the growth. This healthy church zone is a hundred miles wide and […]

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