Monday, June 1, 2015

How Churches Can Attract the 'Nones"

That is the title of this Deseret News article. from yesterday.  Some quotes from the Rev. Tom Ehrich, an Episcopal priest and church consultant, are particularly interesting.

Here are some good quotes about :
Ehrich, who is based in New York City, said church leaders need to consider ways to meet the needs of newer generations. Today, he said, many congregations have become stuck in a rut accommodating older members.
"The average age (of members) in a mainline church is somewhere between 62 and 66; 20 years ago it was between 42 and 46," Ehrich explained. "We've missed two successive generations of young adults, and the same people who stuck around are getting older. We can't go on much longer before the 66-year-olds are 76 and 86. That's why the (churches) are closing."
... "Churches that are growing have small groups, high mission activities, mission teams, lots of people engaging with each other, and digital dialogues," he said. "The mainline churches and many churches are resisting it because people don't want" those changes, preferring traditional routines.
...Church consultant Ehrich said congregations also need to position themselves as providing answers to the questions those seekers eventually will bring.
"What the churches have to communicate is this is what they're about and not keeping up tradition," he said.
Some questions:  Why have some churches become stuck accommodating older members rather than younger members?  What challenges will a group face in changing how it accommodates the desires of different members?

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