In my discussions with congregational and diocesan leaders around the Church of late, I have noticed a shift in the conversation.
Faith leaders were already beginning to face the facts about their congregations before Covid: acknowledging that, at best, they are on a plateau and that, at worst, they are on a slow but slippery downward slope, not just in membership numbers, but also congregational vitality and engagement. This trend has been made even clearer and its pace accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Another shift is that fewer leaders are clinging to the old canard that there are “other ways to grow than in actual number,” recognizing that readiness to grow is a powerful indicator that talk of willingness to change is more than lip service.
These are healthy signs. Getting over our resistance to facing the reality of our condition is half the battle for the future of the Church. As Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (though it may really piss you off first).[Read more…]