Flashback Friday: Hot Topics in August

August 23rd, 2013

August has been a busy month here on Ministry Matters. Here are a three of the hot topics you might have missed.

1. The Showdown Over Small Churches

United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon stirred the pot with his provocative piece, “Tough Truth about Small Churches,” to which Bishop Scott Jones replied with his take on “Why Willimon Is Wrong about Small Churches.” 

Looking more specifically at why more small churches don’t merge, Jessica Miller Kelley wrote, “Merging Perishing Parishes? Perish the Thought!”

2. What’s the Best Way to Effect Change?

Several articles sparked debate over the tactics people use to help others and advocate for change. In “Businesses, Boycotts, and Bullies,” Shane Raynor raised questions about the purpose of boycotts and where lies the line between voting with our dollars and unfairly intimidating small businesses.

Pointing a finger at some armchair activists on social media, Clay Morgan questioned the effectiveness of “Propaganda Porn,” those grisly images that appear in our Facebook feed or elsewhere, intended to shock the viewer into a certain moral or political perspective.

And John Flowers gave some tips for offering discerning and prudent assistance to people asking the church for money. However, at least one of his “Street Smarts for Pastors,” struck readers as foolish.

3. Roadblocks to Growth (in Size and Depth)

When we’re ingrained in an institution, it can be hard to see things like an outsider does. Fortunately, there are some leaders gifted at putting that “visitor” hat on to help the rest of us. Adam Thomas listed “10 Pitfalls of Church Websites” that keep virtual visitors from learning more and visiting us in person! More controversially, in “Why Worship Shouldn’t Feel Like Family,” Karen Vannoy and John Flowers listed five things churches do in worship that make visitors feel they don’t belong (and a lot of church people disagreed!)

Also on the subject of insiders and outsiders, Carolyn Slaughter explained why visitors and regular attenders should actually outnumber church members in “A Higher Standard for Membership”.


Comment threads on some of these articles have been closed, but it’s never too late to weigh in on social media!

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