For the first time in nearly 3 years my current church plant, Cypher Church, held what I’ll call a “conventional” worship service. You know the one: 5 songs, 1 by Hillsong, announcements, and a 20-45 minute sermon. We don’t worship in this way so it was novel to do once. How we gather and the ways we deconstruct our understanding of worship are important questions for the church in post-Christian Canada.
I first heard about the book, Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization, in an online group for Christians of colour in Canada. Resources that speak to the visible minority experience in this country are few and far between.
Today’s readings: Isaiah 55:1-9 Psalm 63:1-8 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Luke 13:1-9 Rain cascaded down the ancient gothic buttresses of Westminster Abbey. Sunday morning meant the unusually long lines of tourists seeking to meander through the halls were noticeably absent. So few were present for service that I was ushered to sit in the hallowed quire. It was
Scripture reading for today: Isaiah 11:1-9, Micah 4:8-13, Luke 7:31-50 Isaiah 11:1-9 11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear
Calgary is home to one of the largest metro populations of religious “nones” in the country. Over a 1/3 of the population would check the box, “no religious affiliation” when asked. The contemporary church, rooted in Christendom, struggles to connect with the emerging majority demographic. It’s here where we decided to immerse a church with intention knowing full well we had few answers coming in. First off, who’s we?
When was the last time a church coach or lead pastor was fired for not hitting a discipleship quota? Never. What we measure describes what we deem the most important in the community. By this metric
See part 1 of the conversation as Rohadi asks "Do Canadian Churches Ignore Racism?" This post was written prior to the Gerald Stanley verdict, following which racist attitudes reared its ugly head in our country once again. Perhaps it's a good thing. We have difficulty as Canadians acknowledging our deeply seated presuppositions predicated
I was looking at the lineup of a recent church conference and did a double take. I couldn’t help notice that of the 30 or so presenters, all but 2 were men. All of the men were white. This isn’t the only conference that has the same ratio, in fact, most do. Do you think this a problem?
Here’s the problem: Christianity in North America is disintegrating. The exodus hasn't begun, it's almost done. I'm not suggesting that tomorrow we'll wake up and all the churches will be gone. In fact, despite an era of decline, many churches believe they are immune. But the data doesn't lie. Few churches specifically grow through evangelism.
Planning for your future becomes more important the closer you are to retirement. If you’re 20 and come into a windfall of cash, it’s unlikely all of that money is going into the TFSA. We tend to struggle with picturing ourselves in the distant future. Churches tend to lack vision that extends beyond 3-5 years. Lead pastors are kind of like politicians, they have direction enough for their term, and little beyond. What we rarely see is vision casting that extends into generations. We struggle as a whole to plan for the future.