“Progressives” Go Emergent

[As for “progressive”: once again, it’s all about whose progress]

Apparently, the Left-wing wants to know how “evangelicals” do it. How do they get the kids? Just like every mainline church in America, Courtney Martin wants her fellow progressives to figure it out and get on board.

As Pastor Ross looked around at the nodding, foot-tapping teenagers filling the stadium seating, he triumphantly shouted, “We are growing the church young!” Unless progressives can figure out a way to reach that same audience, I fear he is right.

The comments are fun, too.

Timotheos

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5 thoughts on ““Progressives” Go Emergent

  1. Telling them what they most want to hear will always fill the seats. For awhile. Until they get bored.

    Telling them what God/Jesus most wants them to hear will chase many away.

    This same principle based on human self-centeredness applies just the same in politics, as well as advertising.

    Politicians and advertisers have learned to tell the masses what the want to hear, judge when they become bored with the message, and then tweak the message enough to keep interest.

    Many churches have been practicing these techniques for many years. And now “progressives” are suddenlty re-discovering this marketing phenomenon.

    My point: Been there, Done that. This new “progressive” movement is just new packaging on an old product.

  2. Very interesting to see “Alternet” referred to on this blog. It’s usually more left than even “The Nation”.

    The problem I see with the liberal version of the megachurch is that theologically, they will probably not stand for anything. It will all be for the purpose of providing alternatives to conservative settings and be about service to the community and political causes.

    A liberal friend of mine sort of latched on to the concept of the “liberal” or “progressive” megachurch. She typifies a belief that many liberals have about a church: that it should be fairly vague on dogma, emphasizing only all all-powerful spirituality and then focusing on bettering the world, especially by promoting peace, taking care of the environment and taking care of the poor and disenfranchised.

    But that kind of church simply doesn’t stand for any specific belief about God and that is a weakness in attracting young people. Young people are not afraid of strong opinions and are still looking to people who hold them.

    But older liberals already know what they believe and a church as I’ve described is less likely to cause them consternation. But many megachurches, for all their faults are teaching specific things and taking strong political positions and I think that is more appealing to young people who are often searching out their own beliefs and it’s easier to choose among distinctives than muddy-middles. So I think the concept of the liberal megachurch is probably not going to succeed very well.

    This type of church leaves out the largest group of Christian political liberals who are Roman Catholic –and they may be quite dogmatic. Perhaps in interesting ways since the RC gives you leeway on say going to heaven as a Muslim (denying Christ), but no leeway on birth control or the perpertual virginity of Mary, but I digress.

    The weakness of the mega church is that it is all about how to fill those large buildings. To do that, church growth dogma gets in the way of Christian dogma and though attendance booms and the money pours in, growth groups blossom, the yet Christian faith is often sidelined.

  3. David says,.. “The weakness of the mega church is that it is all about how to fill those large buildings.”

    In other words, it realy just boils down to money.

    Those large buildings are expensive to build and operate. And the salaries of the people running those buildings are probably nothing to sneeze at.

  4. Wait until one of these megachurces does an IPO.

    Many megachurches are a money making operation. They are so big that they can support big salaries for their leadership –really, really big salaries.

    A former LCMS pastor of mine used to tell me that the amount of money budgeted in Falwell’s operation was equivalent to what our entire synod spent and our synod supported many universities, 2 seminaries, missions, you name it.

    When you get a huge church, extravagant spending becomes supportable. In my own congregation of about 200 regulars, we can support our pastor and some staff hours, but we can’t make them millionaires.

    And I’ll bet those megachurches don’t have open budgets and voters meetings to approve such expenses.

  5. “The weakness of the mega church is that it is all about how to fill those large buildings”

    and also that it is an irrelevant model for anyone living outside of the USA, especially if one is a confessional Protestant.

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