Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
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12-05-2015, 11:31 AM
Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/j...d=pm_pop_b

Time to rebrand? Seriously, a good read on the temperature of the Christian churches today. My background is RCC, and for the most part the RCC maintains the traditional tenets of beliefs and rituals. However, I can say that the RCC - at least the churches in my area - are dying too.

If you come from a religious background, this along with "Christian pop/rock" should make you sick.
Quote:This, in the view of many churches, is what millennials like me want. And no wonder pastors think so. Church attendance has plummeted among young adults. In the United States, 59 percent of people ages 18 to 29 with a Christian background have, at some point, dropped out. According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, among those of us who came of age around the year 2000, a solid quarter claim no religious affiliation at all, making my generation significantly more disconnected from faith than members of Generation X were at a comparable point in their lives and twice as detached as baby boomers were as young adults.

In response, many churches have sought to lure millennials back by focusing on style points: cooler bands, hipper worship, edgier programming, impressive technology. Yet while these aren’t inherently bad ideas and might in some cases be effective, they are not the key to drawing millennials back to God in a lasting and meaningful way. Young people don’t simply want a better show. And trying to be cool might be making things worse.

You’re just as likely to hear the words “market share” and “branding” in church staff meetings these days as you are in any corporate office. Megachurches such as Saddleback in Lake Forest, Calif., and Lakewood in Houston have entire marketing departments devoted to enticing new members. Kent Shaffer of ChurchRelevance.com routinely ranks the best logos and Web sites and offers strategic counsel to organizations like Saddleback and LifeChurch.tv.

While the writer in this article seems to have concluded that she needs "something" to fill the void in her life so she found a church that is steeped in tradition but not very judgemental, i.e. the Episcopal church. Ultimately, it seems like her reasoning can be distilled into 1) Keeping a cultural link to her heritage and 2) using rituals as a means to "center herself" ala what you see in yoga classes.

IMHO, if you come from a religious background, I think the message is very clear, loud and should truly make you think. The one true faith SHOULD NOT need a marketing department. If the message is honest and God infused and the morality consistent with a God who omnipotent, omniscient and the embodiment of all that is good - the message should not need to be repackaged or rebranded. With all the splinter groups and myriad of denominations, the messages are all coming from man.
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12-05-2015, 11:47 AM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
I think this is the middle ground from strict days of church going that people who are over age 50 probably grew up with to what people who are age 30 and younger feel about church.

things have calmed down considerably.

when the twenty and thirty somethings that attend these churches have children, it will be watered down even more.

its a step in the right direction.


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12-05-2015, 12:03 PM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
(12-05-2015 11:47 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  I think this is the middle ground from strict days of church going that people who are over age 50 probably grew up with to what people who are age 30 and younger feel about church.

things have calmed down considerably.

when the twenty and thirty somethings that attend these churches have children, it will be watered down even more.

its a step in the right direction.

I agree that its a step in the right direction, as both my parents were fundamentally Christian, and myself and both my sisters are now Atheist-Agnostic, myself being the last to deconvert and we are part of the millennial generation. I know my Niece will grow up in a home without religion.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
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12-05-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
I still attend and actually play in the band of a multi-campus mega church in NE Ohio. I came out of a fundamentalist background and went from theist to deist to non-believer in a period of about 2 years. However, I still play music because, well quite frankly I enjoy it. I still enjoy the community etc. but needless to say I'm a closet atheist. Anyway, I digress.

This article very much encompasses how our church philosophy is built. The staff tailors each "Sunday Experience" to the 25 year old non-churched male; from the music to the message and everything in between. They study the culture in our area, what is popular, what is trending so I see this hard at work every weekend I am there.

Here's what is ironic about this though. In a church of about 7,500 - 8,000 people and five campuses, the actual target audience that is reached is less than 100 18-29 year olds. That's 1.25%. I would say they aren't being very effective in that age range but somehow they are still convincing thousands of others, most of who are young families in their early 30s to 40s with young kids. I wonder if they consider this a success or a fail? Probably both.
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13-05-2015, 08:33 AM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
Tonechaser- are many of the employees young? The ones doing the grunt work.


For a short time I attended a non denominational church to "try it out" even though I was raised secular. The pastor and his wife tended to hire people fresh out of high school. I think because they didnt have the life experience to figure out his scheme. He would pay them less, many just volunteered their time, he would always pray over everything they did and they felt like they were getting a special favor or doing extra special work for god.

he sold them a story and theyd bought because they were young and naive. I think older adults who have held multiple jobs may not have been quite so gulliable.

I was curious if it was the same way on that large church campus that you attend.


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13-05-2015, 09:22 AM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
(12-05-2015 11:31 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  ...

the messages are all coming from man.

It was ever thus.

Sleepy

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17-05-2015, 06:13 PM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
I can't help but LOL at the stupidity of churches attempts to be "cool". It's as pathetic as it is revealing.
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18-05-2015, 10:05 AM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
(13-05-2015 08:33 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  Tonechaser- are many of the employees young? The ones doing the grunt work.


For a short time I attended a non denominational church to "try it out" even though I was raised secular. The pastor and his wife tended to hire people fresh out of high school. I think because they didnt have the life experience to figure out his scheme. He would pay them less, many just volunteered their time, he would always pray over everything they did and they felt like they were getting a special favor or doing extra special work for god.

he sold them a story and theyd bought because they were young and naive. I think older adults who have held multiple jobs may not have been quite so gulliable.

I was curious if it was the same way on that large church campus that you attend.

The age of the staff at the particular campus I attend pretty much runs the gamut. The sr pastor is about 43 and is extremely likable. Also a very good speaker, down to earth, approachable, and overall very sincere as a person. Just sincerely wrong ;-)
The worship pastor is about 34 and the rest of the staff is in their late 20s to mid 30s. There are a few people on staff who hold a doctorate degree and are older (mid 50s, early 60s) mainly because the church is an extension of a well known bible college that offers a four year degree in theology there. The other campuses are a mirror image also.
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18-05-2015, 10:54 AM
RE: Interesting article on Contemporary Christianity in USA
(12-05-2015 11:31 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/j...d=pm_pop_b

Time to rebrand? Seriously, a good read on the temperature of the Christian churches today. My background is RCC, and for the most part the RCC maintains the traditional tenets of beliefs and rituals. However, I can say that the RCC - at least the churches in my area - are dying too.

If you come from a religious background, this along with "Christian pop/rock" should make you sick.
Quote:This, in the view of many churches, is what millennials like me want. And no wonder pastors think so. Church attendance has plummeted among young adults. In the United States, 59 percent of people ages 18 to 29 with a Christian background have, at some point, dropped out. According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, among those of us who came of age around the year 2000, a solid quarter claim no religious affiliation at all, making my generation significantly more disconnected from faith than members of Generation X were at a comparable point in their lives and twice as detached as baby boomers were as young adults.

In response, many churches have sought to lure millennials back by focusing on style points: cooler bands, hipper worship, edgier programming, impressive technology. Yet while these aren’t inherently bad ideas and might in some cases be effective, they are not the key to drawing millennials back to God in a lasting and meaningful way. Young people don’t simply want a better show. And trying to be cool might be making things worse.

You’re just as likely to hear the words “market share” and “branding” in church staff meetings these days as you are in any corporate office. Megachurches such as Saddleback in Lake Forest, Calif., and Lakewood in Houston have entire marketing departments devoted to enticing new members. Kent Shaffer of ChurchRelevance.com routinely ranks the best logos and Web sites and offers strategic counsel to organizations like Saddleback and LifeChurch.tv.

While the writer in this article seems to have concluded that she needs "something" to fill the void in her life so she found a church that is steeped in tradition but not very judgemental, i.e. the Episcopal church. Ultimately, it seems like her reasoning can be distilled into 1) Keeping a cultural link to her heritage and 2) using rituals as a means to "center herself" ala what you see in yoga classes.

IMHO, if you come from a religious background, I think the message is very clear, loud and should truly make you think. The one true faith SHOULD NOT need a marketing department. If the message is honest and God infused and the morality consistent with a God who omnipotent, omniscient and the embodiment of all that is good - the message should not need to be repackaged or rebranded. With all the splinter groups and myriad of denominations, the messages are all coming from man.

I saw the recent poll numbers that seemed to indicate more nominal/liberal Christians in the U.S. now identify as atheists/skeptics while evangelicals showed a slight gain. Not sure if the former is a good thing. Could be.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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