Remaking the church for Boomers

I found these old notes on remaking the church for Boomers...

So, what do YOU think? How'd we do?


vanilla said...

No. 1 check
No. 2,3,5 7 check
No. 4,6,8,10 check
No. 9 check

pretty well got it covered in a mere 30 years; and now we are so "yesterday;" what's next?

bookworm said...

The widespread success at implementing No. 2 & No. 3 is what drove this evangelical boomer to attend a mainline church with a traditional service. A service that is not one of performance and entertainment.

Not so happy with "our" success at bringing about the other changes listed either. However, boomer bashers remember - we all live in glass houses.

J. W. Watkins said...

The Wesleyan Church

Number of churches:
1980 - 1,719
2009 - 1,785
Loss of 66 in thirty years

Total membership:
1980 - 108,243
2009 - 139,008
Gain of 30,765 in thirty years
28% gain/ approximately 1% per year

Morning Worship Attendance:
1980 - 134,817
2009 - 203,076
Gain of 68,259
51% gain/ approximately 2% per year

One must be careful when using statistics; Statistics can be used to say whatever you want them to say. But in the final analysis if you are attempting to have an accurate picture of what has actually taken place in the last 30years they cannot be completely ignored.

Keith Drury said...

Thanks for the stats for Wesleyans Jim... I think you meant GAIN of 66churches in thirty years, not a loss... all three stats are gains actually.

Anonymous said...

Of this list I think most of the younger generation now consider six of "our" contributions "too traditional" and in need of revising--though I can see better what they dislike than what they want--but the young staff in my church want to throw overboard these:

2. Upbeat praise songs--(they seem to like dark music though their music has far deeper lyrics.)

3. Praise team--band, band, band.

4. Bright lights--(candles and medatatative lighting.)

5. Help-for-Monday preaching--ROTFLMHO!

6. Fewer hours--(they want more than an hour a week--to "do life together.")

8. Shopping mall feel--(Yuck!)


Ryan Schmitz said...

I was listening to a Tim Keller sermon yesterday and he concluded by warning about our need for a "Stepford" theology. I guess combined with his sermon, this column seems more of an Orwellian warning about the direction of the church (Note: to a current 30-something).

I think that there is definitely a correlation between this commercialism that we now see, and a desire (which should really only be called a desire for now) for something deeper and more sincere. Is it a correction or a revolt?

Either way it is opening the door for a new, more passive commercialism (whether we want to admit it or not).

David Drury said...

Yep -- that's the list for sure.

How's that working out for ya?

J. W. Watkins said...

My sincerest apologies Keith. My bad! I am printing a correction here with the stats I submitted. My conclusion was correct, there is a loss of 66 churches; I turned the numbers around when I typed the information. There was 1,719 churches in 2009 as compared to 1,785 in 1980. "Joe" Watkins

Anonymous said...

'Cosmetic changes is no
substitute for real changes.'

Chap said...

Personally I see many of the changes that churches made to adapting to boomers as positive. Those were good observations 30 years ago, and those churches who changed reached a generation. Unfortunately many churches never adapted. The question is will we be able to adapt to this new generation?
If I were to denigrate any church re-packaging their institution it would only be for changing the message.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Chap! The old battle of minds between the commands of God and the voice of the seductive serpent still rages on today. Unfortunately, our pulpits seem to lack the battle skills as compare to the cults and their likes.

Anonymous said...

this column and the comments so far called this quote to mind-
“In times of change, LEARNERS inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer
hopefully, your church is full of learners or at least people who can learn to be learners

Dan Moyer

Chad said...

We'll see soon if the babyboomers are as open to change as they expected the older generation to be when they introduced their own changes to "save the church."

Nothing is so conservative as a former revolutionary who now rules.

Chap said...

Keith...if I remember right you may have done an article on what the next generation may expect? Am I right? If so, I'd love to see you re-post that sometime.

Lawrence W. Wilson said...

It has become de rigueur to scoff at the house the boomers built, but does anyone really want to go back to the '40s?

When we get the lights dimmed again, sing only mournful songs, and have nothing but impromptu preaching, will that be real church?

It wasn't the first time.

Jeffrey V. said...

Are church attendance, and membership rosters indicators of success?

Is there a way to quantify how well the Church is fulfilling the mission that Christ gave us?

If the Church must succeed at one or more critical tasks, what would they be? Does style really affect how people perceive underlying substance?