When God Left the Building

Resurrecting a Fading Church

This Easter hundreds of thousands of churches across the land will put on their best face. But trends indicate fewer will hear the Resurrection story this year than last year. Leadership Network’s Reggie McNeal says in the new documentary film When God Left the Building, “You can’t say that this is a lack of beautiful […]

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Two men at a bar

The Problem with Jesus

At least he was honest enough to admit it. “I have a real problem with Jesus on this one.” I had just shown a clip from our upcoming documentary film When God Left the Building, which shows a Christian police officer who wants to start an outreach in a local pub. After viewing the clip, […]

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Union

Breaking the Moldy Sunday Mold

This city has one of the highest unchurched populations in the country. It may just foretell the future. And that may be a good thing. There’s an innovative church here that’s bucking the odds. It’s growing. And not just in numbers, but in life change and commitment to Christ. Union Church, in the middle of […]

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shopping

Church Trapped by Consumerism

Church shoppers. They’re derided as fickle, self-centered customers caught up in the toxic fever of consumerism. “People treat church and church programs like the mall,” said a church leader. “All they want is the latest shiny object and ‘what’s in it for me.’” As church memberships decline and more people slip out the back door […]

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Gay Debate: The Church’s Dangerous Dilemma

A few months ago, Mark went to his pastor with an admission and a question. This 25-year-old man grew up in this church. He now sat with the only pastor he’s known. Haltingly, Mark told his pastor that he’s gay. He said he loved his church. And he asked if he and his male friend […]

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Kids praise

What Children’s Ministry Can Teach Grown-up Church

As they filed out of church, several adults slapped the children’s minister on the back and said the same thing: “I got more out of that children’s message than I did out of the rest of the service.” Note to staff: They meant it. The more I’m around children at church the more I believe […]

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The Church’s Male Exodus

The men have decided. Church is not for them. Increasingly, men and boys are abandoning their congregations. As we conducted the research for our recent book Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore we noticed men were leading the exodus. Statistics show that America’s pews are disproportionately populated with 61 percent females and 39 […]

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Lost After 6 Minutes

The evidence mounts. We’re learning why so much preaching and teaching produces thin results in the lives of the recipients. It’s not due to the speaker’s lack of charisma, or failure to prepare, or theological imprecision. It’s not due to the irrelevance of the message itself. It’s as relevant as ever. Rather, it’s due to […]

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open for business

The Anti-Business Church

Someone always inevitably blurts the Old Statement: “The church is not a business.” When a lay person uses a metaphor from the business world in a church meeting, you can count on someone chiding the person with the Old Statement. “The church is not a business.” When someone suggests the church employ sound–and legal–employment practices, […]

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The Church’s Frightful Kodak Moment

We walked through the nearly empty, formerly flourishing space of the Kodak manufacturing plant near our home. The plant manager, a friend from church, sadly described how Kodak plants had been downsizing and closing ever since the advent of digital photography. “We have a wish here,” he said. “We just want to be the last […]

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