By Andy Hale
Between 6,000 to 10,000 churches will close their doors this year in America, according to a recent report. This fact is so startling that it feels like you are watching a car accident happen and can’t do anything about it.
More often than not, we’ve been watching this gradual shift and we’re not really sure what to make of it, nevertheless what to do with it.
Don’t misunderstand me, we’ve tried to plug the hole in what feels like a damn that is inevitably going to burst. We’ve changed our brands, upgraded our websites, renovated our facilities, shifted our worship styles, and hired more youthful looking ministers. Yet, why does it feel like this breach is getting wider and wider.
The reason this all feels so uncomfortably unfamiliar is that we have never been here before. The church, even in its pre-Constantinian form, has not experienced a post-Christendom world. What this moment requires is a new and innovative form of leadership.
“Leadership is energizing a community of people toward their own transformation in order to accomplish a shared mission in the face of a changing world, then leadership is always relational,” said Tod Bolsinger.
We sat down with Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory and vice president of Fuller Seminary, to discuss how he sees this new congregational leadership taking shape.
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CBF’s podcast shares stories from across the Fellowship and innovative practices of those working to renew God’s world. The vision is to share ideas, stories, and innovations from ministers, authors, and practitioners.
Andy Hale created and hosts the podcast of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy