If Churches Can Change, They Can Grow.
Lovett Weems and the Lewis Center for Church Leadership always provide some good articles and information. This brief list is no different.
The one that made me smile (or smirk?) the most was this:
“Character of worship. A congregation that describes their worship as “joyful” is more likely to experience substantial growth, and churches where worship is described as “reverent” are least likely to grow.”
This makes sense to me. I’ve always liked when Wesleyanna’s worship is casual and comfortable (and it usually is), because I love an atmosphere in which we can laugh, greet one another heartily, and go-with-the-flow when something unexpected comes up. My wife Kathleen has said that her favorite part of the service is passing the peace (and my sermon is part of the service)!
Now, what would be a good “more-than-words” supplement to this blog post…..?
I find interesting the dichotomy between “joyful” and “reverent,” as if the two words are in opposition to each other in worship.
You can read the whole report here: http://faithcommunitiestoday.org/sites/faithcommunitiestoday.org/files/FACTs%20on%20Growth%202010.pdf
But the dichotomy was not set up in the survey itself, as far as I can tell. They were looking for adjectives about worship among the worshippers. When congregations self-described their worship as “reverent”, it was not indicative of growth, on average, whereas “joyful,” “innovative,” and “inspirational” were descriptors most indicative of growth.