Why does the church look emptier than it use to? Why are people disassociating with organized religion?
How do we get more people to “come to church”?
What will the Church and our congregation look like in 10 years?
These questions have been orbiting around mainline Protestantism for decades, and yet it seems the pandemic has only accelerated the urgency and anxiety around them. I am of the humble opinion that the Church will never die, but it will for sure look and operate differently as we and our world wrestle with good and authentic questions about what it means to be a people and community of faith.
In response to our ever-changing world, and the reality of a post-COVID “new normal”, Holy Trinity’s Church Council and Staff are going to read Dr. Andrew Root’s book, Churches and the Crises of Decline: A Hopeful, practical Ecclesiology for a Secular Age. The back page headline for this book reads, “If you are worried about the fate of your church (and who isn’t these days?), this is a book you must read.”
Dr. Root is the Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He also hosts a podcast called, New Time Religion with Andy Root. I love Dr. Roots work and he also has great resources around the topic of faith and science and congregational life.
We hope that the congregation will join us in our summer book study and find time to discuss this with us at the beginning of the new school year. One of our core values at Holy Trinity is faith formation and continuing education around the important issues we face as followers of Jesus (discipleship). We feel reading and discussing this book will be a great opportunity to explore what it means to be a church together and how we move forward in faith and mission. The book will not solve all of the challenges the present day Church faces but it will give us common ground and common understanding to work together on.
Here's a link to order the book, and of course we support buying it from a local book store as well.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns, and/or ideas for our community of faith please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for your continued partnership in our mutual life of discipleship.
Pastor Will Rose