In my previous post I expressed the concern of my wife and I about the worship service we attend. A service that has seen little growth over a year and is not nearly it’s former self. Most of the younger crowd is missing. I’d say we met with just about everyone we should meet with, and expressed our concern for not being fulfilled in the worship service we attend. We’ve talked with the praise band director, the senior pastor, and the director of Foundational Ministries.

Our conclusion is that the church is not changing at the pace it needs to. Each individual we talked to has a different story. I’m not about to point fingers, and there are plenty of other circumstances you could attribute it to, but the cold hard fact is that change was needed more than a year ago – and here we are in the same situation today. It’s no secret that the process of change has a greater lifespan within a church than outside of it, even in churches that are nimble. Our pastor, still newly appointed here nearly a year ago, has been extra careful with change. I understand not wanting to come off as dividing rather than a uniting – then again, how long do we continue to fail in face of not rocking the boat? In the life of a church, that can prove to be a while.

The questions that remain: Will as many people who needed the change still be around by the time change occurs? Will we still be there?

In talking with our pastor, he stated that he has implemented change in other churches quite successfully. He reminded us that change takes time. Sure, no problem. In fact, some of those changes took eight years to achieve. …. !?!?
[Insert another record scratch here]

Wow. In an age when technology allows information to flow at light speed and change to follow quickly behind, me thinks that churches need to learn how to change a bit quicker than that. I’m dumbfounded. I’m not suggesting that a change in worship style will take eight years to implement, but I’m not waiting around another one, all the time being unfulfilled in worshiping the Lord!

I will admit this is a localized problem. They’re only losing the younger folks; attendance is strong among people in their 40s and higher. So even if a church like ours actually understands what is needed to survive into the future – can they do it fast enough? I’m not filled with hope at this point, and reading Barna’s Revolution didn’t help either. I’ll talk about that next.

Brian Slezak