A Radical, Modest Proposal for Younger Church Leaders (in Seven Parts)

February 21, 2012

 

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16 ESV).

The next fifty years of church history in America will look little like the last fifty.

Christendom (a situation where Christianity is dominant in culture) is passing away; secularism is on the rise.

We could deny the changes taking place in our culture. We could complain that things are not the way they used to be. Or we could cultivate a more sustainable way of doing church for a potentially less agreeable future. My heart tells me the third choice is best.

The days when the church operated from a position of privilege and power are fading. In many ways, I think this might be a good thing. I suspect the church was never intended to operate that way. At least, our founder didn’t operate that way. He said the kingdom is about planting seeds and laying down your life.

Modern church planting and church growth principles borrow heavily from business strategy and popular culture. I do not want to diminish or deny the good that has been done. But I do question whether these principles will sustain the church through the next fifty years. Instead, I think our children and grandchildren will need to return to the ancient paths.

Don’t you want to help lead the way for them?

Over the next six weeks, each Tuesday, I’ll offer six keys for growing a sustainable church:

Part 2 – Grow Small
Part 3 – Grow Local
Part 4 – Grow Diverse
Part 5 – Grow Low
Part 6 – Grow Long
Part 7 – Grow Obscure
Conclusion – Natural Church: Growing Healthy Disciples

I invite you to bookmark my blog and join in the discussion.

Kevin Scott

Posts Twitter Facebook Google+

Kevin Scott is a pastor, speaker, and author of ReCreatable: How God Heals the Brokenness of Life (Kregel, January 2014). He writes essays about sustainable Christian living, discipleship, and community.

5 responses to A Radical, Modest Proposal for Younger Church Leaders (in Seven Parts)

  1. Your post here follows these other two posts I read in the past two days.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-butler-bass/the-end-of-church_b_1284954.html
    and
    http://frankviola.org/2012/02/20/evangelicalism6/

    A whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on! Planting seeds seems like a good start.

  2. Good points, particularly that much of American church growth is based on business models. We all know that Christ would have us grow based on “garden models,” i.e. deep rooted, slow and steady.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Links I Like – February 25 | Kevin Scott - February 25, 2012

    […] of the American food economy. For those with ears to hear, it also has much to say about the future of the church. Plus you get to hear Willie Nelson cover […]