Local congregations are finding ways to thrive by developing liturgical and ministry-based niches in their communities while anchoring their identities in denominations, says the former dean of the Wake Forest School of Divinity.
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There will be a “leveling out” in the future as the emphasis shifts from clergy, buildings and the white middle class to a more empowered lay leadership, a variety of venues and a more expansive view of “who God has called to be God’s people,” says the stated clerk of the PC(USA).
Church leaders must be willing to hold themselves accountable for what’s going on in congregations because wishful thinking won’t help the church thrive in the future, the late AME bishop said in a 2010 interview.
But if denominations are to have a vibrant future, they must become a means to network people in meaningful, covenantal relationships, says the former head of the Reformed Church in America.
A major figure in the emerging church talks about what’s good about denominations, the challenges the organizations face and some “wild ideas” for the future.
Treating people with unconditional hospitality, no matter what their background, is a hallmark of Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia. Four years ago, the congregation opened its doors to the surrounding community, offering worship, food and a welcoming place to gather.
Mainline Protestants are uniquely positioned to reinvigorate the American church by bringing together the evangelical and social gospels, the Rev. Adam Hamilton says in an interview with local television news anchor David Crabtree.