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Featured Mainline Protestant and Evangelical denominations both declining, how do we change that?

Discussion in 'Current News & Events' started by Raphael Jauregui, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Raphael Jauregui

    Raphael Jauregui Episcopalian, liberal Anglican, Mdiv

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    It is an oft discussed subject that mainline Protestant denominations are declining and losing members. Evangelical denominations are also declining in recent years. The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical denomination in the United States with 15 million members, is declining similarly as the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the US, the United Methodist Church with 7.2 million members.

    The Southern Baptist Convention lost 1 million members.
    https://baptistnews.com/article/southern-baptists-lost-million-members-10-years/#.WUg5mLSJmlI

    The United Methodist Church, in the US, has also lost members. In 2011, the UMC lost 72,000 members.
    2011 numbers show U.S. members still sliding - The United Methodist Church
     
  2. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    Personally, I believe a lot has to do with moving away from a more traditional liturgical style of worship. The seeker service is nice for new Christians, but it has been shown that younger (age) Christians are yearning for a deeper more spiritual worship, not just a current song and religion-lite sermon. They want a service that feels ancient, something that helps them connect to Christ on the cross, to the ancient faith, not just a nice song. This is most certainly the case for myself, and multiple friends that grew up in a contemporary style worship Methodist church that has moved to a seeker service style completely. Almost all of us either do not go there any longer, or want more out of it. I moved to the Lutheran church specifically because I like their theology and they have a liturgical service. I am 35.
     
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  3. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    Churches by and large today are dead... that is the problem.

    Too many have replaced Christ with PC appropriate messages and sermons.

    Jesus wasn't PC and he doesn't want us to be either. The truth is the truth.
     
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  4. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon CF Senior Ambassador

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    Heavenward pilgrims who walk by faith in the light of God's Word need to keep 'looking unto Jesus' (Hebrews 12.2) and not play 'politics' with numbers.
     
  5. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Jesus said "I will be lifted up, and draw all men unto Me" (those who are called and appointed to be drawn, to call on Him, to come to Him, as it is written).

    So no matter whether few, or many, or even any, Jesus is to be lifted up (the testimony of Jesus , truth always, no matter when , no matter where) ,
    and
    all who come to Him He will not turn away.

    "JESUS is lifted up", not religion nor politics nor doctrines.... but LIFE, LIFE ABUNDANTLY in HIM,
    according
    to all of HIS WORD, ALWAYS. In Harmony with HIS WORD, always.
     
  6. Eryk

    Eryk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And yet, pentacostalism is booming.
     
  7. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Jesus is not worried about keeping numbers up. He already knows His numbers.
     
  8. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Churches have played a number of roles. It's not just religious. They were centers of community life. That's no longer the case. And we now have lots of other kinds of activity. At this point churches have to inspire people to get up on Sunday morning, or they have to redefine themselves to that's not as important.

    Whatever you think of Pentecostal theology, it does inspire people to get up in the morning. I agree that good liturgy might do so as well, but not for everyone.

    I've sometimes wondered whether it would make sense to have churches that didn't assume people would come every week, but would support members in more specialized ways.

    As I read the Biblical evidence, early Christians met weekly. But Jesus certainly never requires it. They had strong Jewish influence, and didn't have kids with soccer practice Sunday morning.
     
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  9. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I would at least agree with this part here. But I believe the only thing that will turn it around now is a genuine return to manifestations of the power of God in the form of objectively observable healings, effective public exorcism, the performing of miracles such as raising the dead, etc. The youth of today take your word for nothing. They want evidence, and they want what is real.

    I believe it is time we devoted ourselves to incessant prayer, both publicly and corporately, so as to make the One True God, a God who has always displayed Himself as a supernatural, miracle-working God, real to the masses once again.
     
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  10. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran

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    Agree praying for world wide Revival.
     
  11. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    They're not dead. Drive around on Sunday morning and see how many church parking lots are empty. Very few!

    Do you really think that the church will thrive by insulting people? Jesus took on the self-righteous and critical Pharisees and loved sinners. We should do the same.
     
  12. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    So a full church is the sign of an alive church? Good to know... could have fooled me!
     
  13. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Our parking lot is full, too. (A few decades ago we spilled out into lots of nearby streets.) We certainly aren't dead. But our numbers have gone down.
     
  14. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    A very Americentric view of Christianity around here.
     
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  15. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    The OP was in reference to the church in America.
     
  16. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    Absolutely, and while not liturgical, also generally not a seeker service style worship either.
     
  17. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    That would probably work... But also less spectacular but genuine tangible worship features too such as weekly communion and other ritual worship can go a long way. At least that is my experience.
     
  18. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes. I think this should be the real discussion here: Not the present, but the obvious trends that do not bode well for the future.
     
  19. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Not to be worried about. Everyone in the Book of Life will be there.

    But if one takes eyes off 'Murica for a moment and take a look at how the Holy Spirit is doing it in other parts of the world, one might turn back to 'Murica with a fresh outlook.
     
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  20. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    Can't say I disagree, but I was just explaining why the thread was America centric.
     
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