The year's headline might be: being church was tough again this year.
One of my clergy buddies sent me this link in March:
I liked this comment best:
"It seems to me that one of the shifts that has happened is that the leadership within churches has become more long-term, fixed (even bylaws have been changed in churches I have served to allow for continuous terms), the pastor’s tenure has become shorter."
"In congregations with history of long pastorates, often the leadership within the church went through periods of transformation and change. New people were brought into the lead, new styles brought on, new models tried out. Now, in my experience with congregations with shorter term pastorates, the leadership has stayed the same, but the pastor is the one who changes. Sometimes this is good; sometimes this is stagnant and the problems are associated only with the pastor."
A short term pastorate is not necessarily a sign of an unhealthy congregation or pastor—sometimes, the Spirit is doing something new, and the work that was done between the congregation and pastor needs to shift or move on. And often, in places where there perhaps was an unhealthy element within the congregation that didn’t get addressed by an interim (and intentional interim ministry is a key point that I am not addressing at this time) a new pastor is able to help the congregation move forward and become healthier, and once that new health is achieved, it may be time for a new transition, a new shift.
Turns out, in April, that contrary to all the hubbub the internet is not killing churches.
"The problem is noncreative leaders who fear new ways and have concluded that new means wrong."
Back in August, I was interested in this new approach to media from the Washington Post.
My mother was nostalgic for the old.
"To Baker, much of a newspaper's appeal rests with the size of the page and how the reader can get a measure of the major events of the day simultaneously."
"It speaks of the entire day all at once," he said, "while the screen gives you only a little window of that day."
Still being a pastor was tough in 2014
Half want to quit.
Another group are lonely.
More are bothered, with church disruption becoming the norm.
Still there were some bright spots.
(Although, any time dying and church is used in the headline. It can’t be all that good.)
Although, honestly, work was hard all around.
With millions more still unemployed.
But, the future looks cool.
Or, there’s always the internet.
I'm always interested in the nation's changing demographics. I found this to be an interesting article about Millennials and individualism and how they have new markers of adulthood.
The year ended with seminaries under fire.
Andover Newton Theological School
Episcopalians facing similar woes.
Although, really who went to church to notice?
The year ended with a fascinating look at the next trend: streaming funerals.
That's my list. What made your church headlines this year? Any that I left out? Share your best of in the comments below. Thanks for reading!