Mar 23, 2006

you say you want a revolution?

One of the more interesting conversations happening in church circles these days relates to a book by pollster George Barna. Trends that he is tracking have caused him to theorize a startling conclusion about a group of people he labels church "revolutionaries." These are individuals (often young emergents) who are deeply committed to Christ and want more of God in their lives, yet are frustrated by the local church's attempt to satisfy that longing. Barna goes on to explain about how many of these individuals have either stopped attending services altogether or instead are crafting entirely new spiritual environments that draw them closer to God and other believers without the help of conventional church. His prediction that within the next five years young adults will boldly introduce a blizzard of unique expressions of faith that will cause a heightened tension with the older generations of believers.

Bad news, huh? Guess the church is doomed.

Or is it?

There are some interesting alternative thoughts to this conversation. One campus that is firmly committed to having a dialogue with the college students it cares for has gone public in its boldness about it. Click here for a viewpoint that seems to take on a proactive response to Barna's thoughts.


Friar Tuck said...

Didn't time do a thing on house churches as well in response to this?

Tony Myles said...

Good call... I read that somewhere, too. Funny how the media covers those things - they always skip the churches I wish they would cover (i.e. Mars Hill in Grandville, MI)

Tom said...

First Baptist Church (ABC) in Muncie Indiana has a service on Sunday nights every 3-4 weeks they call "Nexus." The sanctuary is darkened, except for an assortment of candles. The screen is bombarded with images and music. I think there are a few praise and worship songs to be sung congregationally. Interpretive dance is incorporated. A short devotional is offered by the leader who sits while he converses with God's people. The themed service leads to the prayer stations located all over in different corners of the sanctuary. There, a different scripture is written on newsprint and one can go and pray and meditate or whatever. Journals are handed out to record one's thoughts and convictions. These folks are certainly being proactive in redefining how the church does worship.

Tony Myles said...

I think that's awesome, Tom. I really like that style of program, although that's really what it is... another way of running a service. I wonder if the difference in what Barna is noting (and the countering article I linked) deals less with the programming and more with the pulse and heartbeat of the church.