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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Dave Likeness on June 12, 2020, 07:12:20 PM

Title: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 12, 2020, 07:12:20 PM
Pastor Speckhard wrote an interesting and thought provoking article in the June 2020 FL

He examines possible ramifications of the shutdown for the local church & the church at large.
One of the things he mentions is "Waning Big Box Envy" as he speculates about the mega-
non-denominational churches.  He says: 'The big boxes will remain, but big box envy will wane
among traditional denominational congregations, especially those with a high view of the
Sacraments".

In my humble opinion, the mega non-denominational churches have never attracted Christians
who had a high view of the Sacraments.  The magnet for Big Box Churches is dynamic preaching.
People who are church shopping are attracted to good preaching which proclaims Jesus Christ
as the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Faithful Lutherans are convinced that we need both the Word
and the Sacrament each Sunday and they will not join a mega church.

Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 12, 2020, 07:22:52 PM
Pastor Speckhard wrote an interesting and thought provoking article in the June 2020 FL

He examines possible ramifications of the shutdown for the local church & the church at large.
One of the things he mentions is "Waning Big Box Envy" as he speculates about the mega-
non-denominational churches.  He says: 'The big boxes will remain, but big box envy will wane
among traditional denominational congregations, especially those with a high view of the
Sacraments".

In my humble opinion, the mega non-denominational churches have never attracted Christians
who had a high view of the Sacraments.  The magnet for Big Box Churches is dynamic preaching.
People who are church shopping are attracted to good preaching which proclaims Jesus Christ
as the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Faithful Lutherans are convinced that we need both the Word
and the Sacrament each Sunday and they will not join a mega church.
The waning big box envy I think could happen would be among those who leave or might leave but among those who have remained Lutheran because of the sacraments but wish their Lutheran church would be more like a mega church in many ways. I致e had many faithful Lutherans in my evangelism or worship boards who have exhibited a lot of big box envy.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on June 12, 2020, 08:15:20 PM
^same

Jeremy
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Mark Brown on June 13, 2020, 04:19:06 PM
That was a solid article.  The "gradually, then suddenly" bit I get. We've probably gotten to the suddenly portion of a few things.  I'd bet a lot of money on the continuing quicker hollowing out of the middle against the ends.  You need the sacramental outpost.  You need a central "branding" effort, at least if you pretend to be a confessional body you do.  Anything between that is the stuff that gets disintermediated by technology and individualism.

Some of that suddenly factor is simply generational transfer, maybe most of it.  The big box place was the boomer's response to nostalgia for the fullness of the church of their youth.  And they would do anything to keep that - fog machines, zero theological content, etc.  Believe, teach and confess was a deep secondary concern to "make me feel like the USA is still a Christian Nation".  Nobody under 50 is fighting that battle.

The next wave of church-political elections really needs to be about one question: as we finally stop throwing money at stuff that can't be saved, how are we going to fashion a church that works in a technologically connected way?

Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Charles Austin on June 13, 2020, 04:26:12 PM
I知 not getting my forum letter, although I paid. I値l have to look into that.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Dave Benke on June 13, 2020, 07:44:00 PM
The point that hit home to me in the article was that a 50 year old experienced pastor is now having to learn in a brand new way what the pastoral ministry in a congregation will be like going forward, a reboot.

As a 74 year old experienced pastor in the same boat, without the benefit of time, I'm either having to make a pivot to a new way of doing the vocation or - retire.  So far I'm into the pivot thing, but the knees aren't what they used to be.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on June 13, 2020, 08:25:43 PM
I知 not getting my forum letter, although I paid. I値l have to look into that.
Mine just came today Pastor Austin.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Dave Likeness on June 13, 2020, 10:29:43 PM
This song is dedicated to 50 yr old Pastor Speckhard & 74 yr old Pastor Benke

Don't be ashamed of your age
Don't let the years get you down
Your parish still thinks of you
As the best pastor in town

Don't mind the gray in your hair
Just think of the fun putting it there
In the chapters of life don't skip a page
So don't be ashamed of your age
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: James J Eivan on June 14, 2020, 12:55:29 AM
I知 not getting my forum letter, although I paid. I値l have to look into that.
Mine just came today Pastor Austin.
Perhaps the Minneapolis area Forum Letters where used by the 叢eaceful 蘇ate free protesters to start the fires that burned much of the city ... or perhaps the postal carriers where not allowed to complete their appointed rounds.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Dave Benke on June 14, 2020, 08:11:22 AM
This song is dedicated to 50 yr old Pastor Speckhard & 74 yr old Pastor Benke

Don't be ashamed of your age
Don't let the years get you down
Your parish still thinks of you
As the best pastor in town

Don't mind the gray in your hair
Just think of the fun putting it there
In the chapters of life don't skip a page
So don't be ashamed of your age

Thanks for this, Dave.  Not having had a haircut in three months, I actually have some gray hair - it's at the back of the head on the bottom.  Very distinguished.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 14, 2020, 08:28:16 AM
This song is dedicated to 50 yr old Pastor Speckhard & 74 yr old Pastor Benke

Don't be ashamed of your age
Don't let the years get you down
Your parish still thinks of you
As the best pastor in town

Don't mind the gray in your hair
Just think of the fun putting it there
In the chapters of life don't skip a page
So don't be ashamed of your age

Thanks for this, Dave.  Not having had a haircut in three months, I actually have some gray hair - it's at the back of the head on the bottom.  Very distinguished.

Dave Benke
Ditto. My gray is in my beard, which I致e worn for less than a year now. I figured I知 50 so what the heck. But with three teenage daughters and a 10 year old son still at home, plus two foster kids here for who knows how long, I知 not even close to retirement on any vocational front. 
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Michael Slusser on June 14, 2020, 09:50:59 AM
I found Pastor Speckhard's reflection very comforting, particularly the thought that those newly ordained today may have less trouble adapting to the changes that are occurring than old men like me and young but experienced pastors like himself. We sent five newly ordained to their first assignments this past weekend, and the essay in FL made me feel cheerful about them.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 14, 2020, 11:40:33 AM
I知 not getting my forum letter, although I paid. I値l have to look into that.

Mine hasn't come yet either. But a reminder: You can sign up for the pdf version, in which case you would have had it three weeks ago.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Charles Austin on June 14, 2020, 11:45:26 AM
Thought I did the PDF thing.  But the last two Came in the mail.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 14, 2020, 11:48:55 AM
Thought I did the PDF thing.  But the last two Came in the mail.

Contact Donna in the ALPB office. She manages the subscriptions, and tells me when to add somebody to the email list. I don't recall her telling me to add you, and I've looked back over six months.
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Dave Benke on June 14, 2020, 04:44:26 PM
This song is dedicated to 50 yr old Pastor Speckhard & 74 yr old Pastor Benke

Don't be ashamed of your age
Don't let the years get you down
Your parish still thinks of you
As the best pastor in town

Don't mind the gray in your hair
Just think of the fun putting it there
In the chapters of life don't skip a page
So don't be ashamed of your age

Thanks for this, Dave.  Not having had a haircut in three months, I actually have some gray hair - it's at the back of the head on the bottom.  Very distinguished.

Dave Benke
Ditto. My gray is in my beard, which I致e worn for less than a year now. I figured I知 50 so what the heck. But with three teenage daughters and a 10 year old son still at home, plus two foster kids here for who knows how long, I知 not even close to retirement on any vocational front.

But your point, beyond age, is that things have changed.  And I think in some measure permanently.  Failure to have an online presence is going to be failure going forward.  Failure to improvise that presence adeptly can cause spiritual wreckage.  And failure to promote in person reception of the Eucharist remains failure to be the communion of saints offering the forgiveness of sins - as so many of the Eucharistically formed have fled from the centrality of the Meal through the last decades, the next decade is our shot at retaking that ground within the dynamics of vibrant Christian community as well as orthodox theology.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Weedon on June 14, 2020, 04:52:35 PM
Or even stumbling and bumbling in non-vibrant Christian community, still alive with the very life of God Himself, despite the earthen vessel...
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Dave Benke on June 14, 2020, 05:57:34 PM
Or even stumbling and bumbling in non-vibrant Christian community, still alive with the very life of God Himself, despite the earthen vessel...

This is most certainly true.  Putting on my old ecclesiastical supervisor's hat for a minute, this would be of deep concern to me right now.  The congregation that was in the middle of a squabble or open conflict prior to the virus; the congregation that was at odds with its pastor prior; the congregation in a deep hole financially prior; the congregation on a downturn in membership and whose school was hanging on by a shoestring; the congregation with that pre-shrunk membership driving in for worship but not interested in continuing that practice going forward. 

Let's say the average across the board is that churches will take a 20% haircut this year financially and in terms of sort of making the normal headway with classes, ministries, etc.  Those on the margin or below it don't have enough hair left to take that haircut - you're biting into the scalp.  Hence the question from headquarters about whether we're afraid of our congregation closing after this is over.  And with the fear of a lengthy scenario in terms of return to anything like old normal, there will be more pent-up big decisions not getting made in a timely way, or relationships fraying even more.  Two years of 20% shave and a haircuts is not workable.  What about pastors considering Calls, or in need of a Call?  Lots going on. 

All that said, this is also a great time to rethink what Christian community is all about and rededicate to the beauty and effectiveness of the Means of Grace against all hostile outside forces.  So there's that.    Which is in the ultimate way sufficient.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Speckhard: FL June The Church After Covid-19
Post by: Matt Staneck on June 17, 2020, 07:20:56 AM
Got it this week and read the article yesterday. Nice job, Pr. Speckhard!

M. Staneck