Our denomination, the American Baptists, have initiated a time of discovery and learning through an initiative called “Transformed by the Spirit.” In this initiative, they are seeking to help local ABC churches understand how to most effectively minister in the new cultural reality the church finds its self in.
Never heard of Transformed by the Spirit? Check out “Transformed by the Spirit (Part 1).”
I am interested and encouraged by this learning process that our denomination has initiated. In fact, on December 10, 2011, many of you participated in the “Transformed by the Spirit” initiative by engaging in a discussion where we named “adaptive challenges” that our church (and all churches) must address.
I wanted to share with you some “white board” notes from our gathering.
We identified some cultural shifts:
*The world is a more dangerous place to live
*Mobility – people move around more
*Both parents now work
*“Now” Culture; Instant gratification.
*Family structure has changed. Blended Families/ Single Parents
*Lack of commitment
*Sunday is no longer sacred (nor is Wednesday)
*Pull – demand – of the secular culture is oppressive
“Adaptive Challenges” identified:
*Overcoming our “cultural Christian” baggage, attitudes / traditions/ historic heritage, i.e., women wearing pants in church, using projection screen instead of hymnal
*Bringing new people in; the Need to “market” our church.
*Changing our methods, but keeping the message the same.
*Lack of denominational loyalty
*Utilizing effective methods of discipleship
On a denominational level, in 2012, “Adaptive Learning Teams” will explore and learn more about the adaptive challenges that our church (and many other churches in the ABC denomination) have named. In 2013, “Action Learning Teams” will be formed to provide helpful solutions on how churches like ours can overcome the adaptive challenges that we have named. The “Action Learning Teams” will give their report of suggested solutions at the ABC Biennial inKansas City in 2013.
On a local level, the “Transformed by the Spirit” initiative (and discussion that took place on December 10) is just one of many conversations that will happen at Lakeview Baptist church in the months and years to come as we seek to understand the culture that we live in and seek to minister effectively in it.
What would you add? What “adaptive challenges” is our local church (or the church at large) facing?