I had the privilege of spending the day with Ed Stetzer on Monday. It was a blast (aside from getting slightly lost trying to navigate through a Boston parking garage...) I thought it would be fun for him to share his insights on church trends in New England. I'll be posting more details later, but here are some of the key facts and trends that are still making me think about the region I'm living in, loving, and trying to reach.
The "Nones" are more prominent here, and they're growing from the squishy middle.
According to Ed, about 50% of the country's self-identified Christians are "cultural." That is, Christmas-and-Easter Christians. This group is shrinking rapidly, feeding the growth of the nones. In New England, that trend is exaggerated.
Non-denominational, Christ-centered churches are growing well.
That made me happy, since I pastor one of those.
We have an obvious mission field and a largely unengaged mission force.
When Ed said that, everything in me drilled down deeper into the commitment to make disciples. We can't afford to just do church, we've got to make disciples. And while making disciples involves doing church, its totally possible to do church and never really make a disciple.
Thanks for the insights, Ed.