All posts from “church attendance”

Back to (a Theology of) Work We Go...

January 31, 2012 12:00 AM

Newsflash…Young adults are leaving the church. Ok, it’s not really news to anyone familiar with church attendance trends. For generations we have seen young people raised within the church depart during their later teens and twenties. But most returned once...

The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 3

January 23, 2012 12:00 AM

Read Part 1 and Part 2. This past semester my students and I have been educating each other. I’ve been introducing them—at warp speed—to the major world religions. They’ve been candidly expressing their perspectives on faith, religious practice, and what...

The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 2

January 13, 2012 12:00 AM

In a previous post, I described a few trends I noticed in responses of my students in a community college world religions course to prompts about the role of religion in their lives. In that post, I listed the responses...

The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 1

January 3, 2012 12:00 AM

Last semester I assigned the students in the community college World Religions course I teach a series of writing exercises that (I hoped) would help them personalize and internalize the subject matter we were reading about and discussing in class....

Skye Jethani: The Megachurch Bubble (Part 2)

November 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 Finally, the chart shows that 85% of megachurch attenders are white. And I’m guessing that stat is probably equally true about megachurch leaders as congregations and leadership usually reflect one another. (Sorta the way owners resemble their...

Skye Jethani: The Megachurch Bubble (Part 1)

November 14, 2011 12:00 AM

Megachurches are predominantly white, suburban, conservative congregations led by baby-boomer pastors. This is what an infographic about floating around the web lately has revealed. It's based on research compiled by Forbes, The Christian Post, and Leadership Network. For the most...

Ur Video: The King Jesus Gospel

August 22, 2011 12:00 AM

It seems everyone has an answer for the exodus of young people from the church. We're too homophobic, too irrelevant, too age-segmented, too boring, or too consumerist. But Scot McKnight's explanation goes far deeper. He thinks we have fundamentally misunderstood...

Chuck Swindoll: Insecure Pastors Need a Crowd

May 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Latest issue of Leadership Journal features an interview with Chuck Swindoll about the challenges and problems he sees in the American church. High on Swindoll's list is the infusion of entertainment values into our worship. Here's an excerpt from...

Who Are the De-Churched? (Part 2)

April 8, 2010 12:00 AM

I ended Part 1 of this post with a question—what is the church to do about the growing ranks of the de-churched? I believe the answer depends on which de-churched group one is talking about. In Part 1 I identified...

Ur Video: Why Church?

March 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Last week Skye Jethani wrote a post about the "de-churched." It included information about a contest being hosted by 12 Cities | 12 Conversations inviting people to submit videos about why they're committed to Christ but questioning their commitment to...

Who Are the De-Churched? (Part 1)

March 16, 2010 12:00 AM

In days gone by, missional efforts were focused on presenting and demonstrating the love of Christ to non-Christians. But in the 1980s a new term was coined to describe the growing number of North Americans without any significant church background....

Virtual Church is STILL a Bad Idea

October 27, 2009 12:00 AM

**Editor's Note: I apologize for the lack of posts in recent days. We've been experiencing some technical difficulties. -Url Scaramanga** I was disappointed to read Douglas Estes’ piece last week on Ur, for a number of reasons, but chief among...

In Defense of Virtual Church

October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

A myth is growing in some circles of the blogosphere that online church is not good, not healthy, and not biblical. If we read carefully the criticisms levied against internet campuses, they boil down to some very common and tired...

Ur Video: Drive-In Church

September 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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There is NO Virtual Church (Part 2)

August 31, 2009 12:00 AM

(Read part 1) Calvin’s definition of “church” is where the Word is preached, the sacraments are received, and church discipline practiced. That’s a good summary of the defining characteristics of the New Testament ecclesia and a good summary of the...

There Is NO Virtual Church (Part 1)

August 26, 2009 12:00 AM

In the early 1950s when Robert Schuller and others across the nation combined a growing car culture with “Church,” they believed they were reaching a segment of the population traditional church wouldn’t or couldn’t. “Drive-In Church” allowed parishioners to hear...

Internet Campuses: A Blessing or Bogus?

August 17, 2009 12:00 AM

Earlier this month Frank Viola confronted the growing trend of “post-church Christianity,” with a biblically-rooted argument that a gathering of two or three close friends is not “church” and therefore cannot be a substitute. We’re eager to continue the debate...

Frank Viola on Postchurch: Part 2

August 3, 2009 2:15 PM

In my first post, I argued that the primary text used to support the postchurch viewpoint is not about the nature of the church at all. Instead, it's about the process of excommunication. Now I have more evidence against the...

Frank Viola on the Postchurch Perspective

August 3, 2009 1:35 PM

There is a growing phenomenon in the body of Christ today. Alongside of the missional church movement, the emerging church movement, and the house church movement, there is a mode of thinking that I call "postchurch Christianity." The postchurch brand...

Scot McKnight: Spiritual Eroticism

May 4, 2009 12:00 AM

A peculiar development occurred in the medieval age regarding love. Behind closed doors and in the rush of brief encounters, there developed what has been called "courtly love" or "romantic love." Married men found themselves emotionally carried away with either...

The Wrong Boogeyman (Part 2)

April 7, 2009 12:00 AM

How do we account for the dramatic doubling of the number of secular Americans over the last 18 years? And what are we to do about the exodus of young people from the church? These are important questions, and uncovering...

The Dangers of Easter

March 31, 2009 10:29 AM

As we journey through Lent toward Easter, I want to be mindful of the dangers that surround this season and threaten the soul of a community and the soul of a pastor. What danger? The temptation to bait and switch....

The Wrong Boogeyman (Part 1)

March 27, 2009 12:00 AM

Two weeks ago the American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS] released its findings and announced that "secular" Americans now account for 15 percent of the population. That is up from 8 percent in 1990 and just 2 percent in 1962. Among...

Missional vs. Attractional: Debating the Data

December 16, 2008 12:00 AM

by Url Scaramanga & Andy Rowell The debate continues. For the last two weeks, opinions have been fast and furious on the definition and validity of "missional" churches. It all began with Dan Kimball's post about his missional misgivings. He...

Alan Hirsch Responds to Kimball's "Missional Misgivings"

December 11, 2008 4:26 PM

Dan, As someone who comes out clearly for the missional reframing of church, I do share some concerns about reproduction (fruitfulness). Anyone concerned with Jesus' commission should be. The comments so far are excellent and so I will just add...

Dan Kimball's Missional Misgivings

December 2, 2008 12:00 AM

I hope I am wrong. For the past few years, I have been observing, listening, and asking questions about the missional movement. I have a suspicion that the missional model has not yet proven itself beyond the level of theory....

What the Unchurched See in a Building

September 18, 2008 12:00 AM

On the heels of David Gibbons' interesting thoughts on the way many churches squander their resources on underutilized buildings, Matt Branaugh has this piece over at LeadershipJournal.net. Apparently, if you're going to throw your church's money into a building, make...

The Hansen Report: Where Are You From?

September 4, 2008 12:02 PM

Where are you from? No, where are you from from? If you live in a suburban or urban area, you have probably asked and answered these questions countless times. The follow-up question is meant to uncover something about your conversation...

Cartoon: Church Growth Addiction

July 28, 2008 12:00 AM

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Out of Context: Dave Gibbons

July 10, 2008 12:00 AM

"I love the church. It's God's vehicle for transformation. But I don't want the church to become so centralized that it can't reproduce, can't adopt multiple forms. And that works better when you're small, when you're on the verge,...

Cartoon: Church-A-Plex

June 30, 2008 12:00 AM

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Rejoicing in Rebuke

March 25, 2008 12:00 AM

For the past couple of weeks, Ur-banites have been wrestling with questions about church membership. Below, Ken Sande, president of Peacemaker Ministries, takes one of the big questions head on: how does a church discipline its members? On January 18,...

Let the Work Begin

March 4, 2008 11:59 AM

The pastors who attended last week's National Pastors Convention have now returned to their churches across North America. David Swanson presents his final reflections on the convention and the issues it brought to his attention. Now that the National...

Out of Context: Bryan Wilkerson

November 29, 2007 12:00 AM

"These days, people can get good teaching, wonderful music, and excellent writing, whether through iPods, TV, or online. They learn to shop around and pick and choose. Then they expect the same high quality in their local church. A generation...

Evangelical Drop-Outs

August 9, 2007 12:00 AM

A new study reported by USAToday finds that a high percentage of young adults who attended church while in high school stop attending by age 23. The poll was conducted by LifeWay Research, an affiliate of the publishing arm of...

The Disappearing Middle

July 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Leaders should be concerned about the disappearing middle, according to Chad Hall. That bulge in the middle of a bell-shaped curve that represents the great mass of consumers and citizens and churchgoers and volunteers is getting squeezed. The result is...

The Measure of a Ministry

July 6, 2007 12:00 AM

This week Americans are celebrating their independence by watching parades, enjoying backyard barbeques, and by not going to church. If your congregation is anything like mine you know that during the summer worship attendance slips noticeably, and the week of...

Out of Context: Chad Hall

February 21, 2007 12:00 AM

"When a church focuses on trying to grow, the larger mission suffers and the church can actually become less attractional." -Chad Hall is a ministry coach living in Hickory, North Carolina, and the co-author of Coaching for Christian Leaders (Chalice...

The Greatest Show on Earth

December 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Last December, David Fitch challenged the popular trend known as "Experiential Worship." Fitch said, "?we can no longer be naive that a ?religious experience,' like the one sought in a rock concert worship service, provides immediate access to God." And...

Burned by Branding

November 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Believe it or not, not everyone loves Starbucks. The Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy has written about the growing resistance the Seattle-based coffee cartel is facing in many communities. The issue - Starbucks ignores local culture in favor of maintaining...

Out of Context: Ivy Beckwith

November 17, 2006 12:00 AM

"Just look at church websites. How many of them have this picture of a perfect family with a blue sky background. They all look so nice in their polo shirts, and the kids all have straight teeth. It's all just...

Scum of the Church 2: What churches should learn from ‘80s youth ministry

August 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Many churches are struggling to reach young adults. The conversation on Out of Ur for the last two weeks has wrestled with this problem. Brian McLaren believes we need to be asking different questions of those who've grown up in...

Scum of the Church: How the drive for “excellence” is driving young adults from the church

August 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Recently, Brian McLaren challenged us to ask new questions about the absence of young adults in most churches. Mike Sares, pastor of Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, continues the topic by discussing the divergent values he has encountered...

Family Faith Feud: Why are young adults not finding their places in their parents’ church?

August 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Many churches struggle to reach the ever-elusive young adult demographic. Are 20-somethings simply disinterested in church? Not according to Brian McLaren. He believes we are failing to listen to the questions young adults are asking. This post is a preview...

Fallow Fields: 20 ways to waste time while not planting churches

August 10, 2006 12:00 AM

Sorry for the long delay between posts. Url has been away in the only patch of North America without internet access. I recently listened to a speaker praise the state of the church in America. He lauded the efforts of...

Radioactive Church Attendance: predicting your congregation’s half-life

June 23, 2006 12:00 AM

Some churches are more unstable than others. This may not be the result of impulsive leadership or poor planning, but rather the life stage of the congregation. Dave Terpstra pastors The Next Level Church in Denver, a community comprised primarily...

Is Church Growth the Highway to Hell?

June 9, 2006 12:00 AM

The summer issue of Leadership, arriving in mailboxes in July, focuses on the impact of consumerism on ministry. Some people have equated the church growth movement with the rise of "consumer Christianity." Others believe the church growth philosophy has brought...

Cutting the Cord: Are Megachurches Birthing the House Church Movement?

March 10, 2006 12:00 AM

In recent months the conversation on Out of Ur has explored why increasing numbers of Christians are opting to pursue Christ apart from a local church. The discussion began with Kevin Miller's review of George Barna's new book, Revolution. And,...

Exit Stage Left 2: How the Spiritually Mature Reengage

February 8, 2006 12:00 AM

In his earlier post, Dave Terpstra described why the spiritually mature find most churches ill-equipped to assist them in their growth. This, he says, is why the more mature often leave the church or disengage from active service. After reading...

Exit Stage Left: Why the Spiritually Mature are Leaving the Church

February 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Last month we looked at George Barna's new book, Revolution, which reveals that a growing number of people are seeking spiritual growth outside the institutional church. In this post Dave Terpstra, pastor at The Next Level Church in Denver and...

Closed for Christmas 3: Scot McKnight's Good Will Toward Megachurches

December 20, 2005 12:00 AM

Advent 2005, rather than a season of peace and good will, may be remembered as a month when cantankerous Christians did battle with the culture and one another. This was the year a Florida church spread Christmas spirit with a...

Closed for Christmas 2: The Megachurch Response

December 15, 2005 1:41 PM

By now it seems everyone has formed an opinion about the decision of megachurches throughout the country to not hold services on Sunday, December 25th. Some see it as proof that the American church has surrendered to consumerism. Others believe...

Closed for Christmas: The Ghost of Christmas Past

December 9, 2005 12:04 AM

The media frenzy over the decision of megachurches throughout the country to close their doors on Christmas day doesn't seem to be dying down, and numerous articles are framing the action as unprecedented. But is that accurate? Although likely unaware...

The Jaded Driven Church: Re-Introducing People to God & His Church

December 5, 2005 12:00 AM

Some churches are seeker-driven. A growing number are purpose-driven. But one church in Denver, Colorado has positioned itself as jaded-driven. Dave Terpstra, teaching pastor of The Next Level Church, shares how his own disillusionment with ministry made him question the...

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