Mainline denominational churches have been experiencing shifts in membership and participation for thirty or more years. Attendance is down, congregations have become significantly older, and communities are struggling to figure out what’s going on. For a long time,
evangelical Christians seemed immune to the shifts plaguing mainline churches. Over the last ten years this immunity seems to have worn off.
Jim Hinch, a religion correspondent for the Orange County Register recently wrote about how evangelical Christianity has lost its power. The article, entitled, “Where Are the People?” appeared in the Winter 2014 issue American Scholar. It is an important article that contributes to a greater understanding what is going on in American Christianity. Hinch examines the sale and restoration of the Crystal Cathedral to think about issues related to Christianity’s place in society.
I am convinced that we are in a period when God is reshaping the church so that it might be a missionary presence that is extending God’s life into the world in a variety of ways that include worship, faithful proclamation, and Christian service in and with the World.
Hinch’s article already points to ways this is happening in many places across the country. Read it by clicking here. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. You can leave comments below.
The image accompanying this post is entitled The Crystal Cathedral. The photo was taken by C. Strife. It is used according to to the Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.