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Church to usher out senior members in effort to attract young parishioners (L) UPDATE: pastor says story not accurate
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Post Church to usher out senior members in effort to attract young parishioners (L) UPDATE: pastor says story not accurate Dave Dorsey
https://www.twincities.com/2020/01/18/cottage-grove-church-united-methodist-young-parishioners

Quote:
Gackstetter and other members of the Grove United Methodist Church in Cottage Grove are upset enough that their church is closing in June. What makes it worse is that their church is reopening in November — pretty much without them.

The church wants to attract more young families. The present members, most of them over 60 years old, will be invited to worship somewhere else. A memo recommends that they stay away for two years, then consult the pastor about reapplying.

Officials say the church needs a reset, and reopening the church is the best way to appeal to younger people.

I had to check and check again that this isn't a satire website (it's not)... WOW!!! Shocked Shocked

Hopefully this gives some folks around here something to be thankful for, that at least their church isn't doing anything more than cranking the volume up and turning the lights out. Shocked Shocked


Last edited by Dave Dorsey on 1/21/20 8:57 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post UncleJD
Out with the gray, in with the gay. Yeah, not a real church, just call the United Methodists in America, a social organization and be done with it. Golf Cart Mafia Capo
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1/20/20 6:02 pm


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Post Cojak
WOW, nothing like being up front to spell out what your problems are, unless they are swinging the direction Bro JD points out, they are forcing out the ones supporting the church.

I have never seen nor known 'members from Hell' as a couple preachers on Acts have said they have. Maybe Cottage Grove was loaded with them. And this was the only way to unload them, nah, surely not! Shocked Embarassed
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Post Dave Dorsey
Cojak wrote:
they are forcing out the ones supporting the church.

For sure. You definitely get more "revenue" from a faithful giver on a fixed income than you do from someone who doesn't give it all.

They might discover that after their relaunch. Alfred E. Neuman
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Post Carolyn Smith
Just read this. While a novel idea (thankfully), it's kinda crazy! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
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Post Church growth expert? roughridercog
Makes me wonder what God could do.
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Post Dave Dorsey
UPDATE

The "planting pastor" of the church says the article is inaccurate and does not reflect the situation:

https://twitter.com/petersjwh/status/1219437180822740992?s=19
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Post I also am forced to think roughridercog
How many of our churches are in the same state as the church in a he article?
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Post Re: I also am forced to think Dave Dorsey
roughridercog wrote:
How many of our churches are in the same state as the church in a he article?

I've been thinking about this as well. Many churches face this problem. Assuming the story is accurate, this is obviously NOT the way to handle it.

But what DO you do if you're pastoring a church that has gone decades without having an intentional vision for the next generation?

Is there any possible way to turn that situation around, or do you just lovingly shepherd that congregation until most to all have gone home, close the church, and maybe start again? Do you try to merge with another congregation? Disband the church and work to find other local church homes for the parishioners?

According to the planting pastor I linked to above, the latter items are more along the lines of what this church is trying to do.

Without doubt, it is a difficult and prevalent problem.
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Post Re: I also am forced to think roughridercog
Dave Dorsey wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
How many of our churches are in the same state as the church in a he article?

I've been thinking about this as well. Many churches face this problem. Assuming the story is accurate, this is obviously NOT the way to handle it.

But what DO you do if you're pastoring a church that has gone decades without having an intentional vision for the next generation?

Is there any possible way to turn that situation around, or do you just lovingly shepherd that congregation until most to all have gone home, close the church, and maybe start again? Do you try to merge with another congregation? Disband the church and work to find other local church homes for the parishioners?

According to the planting pastor I linked to above, the latter items are more along the lines of what this church is trying to do.

Without doubt, it is a difficult and prevalent problem.


Too many of our churches have no vision or desire to win their community. They just want a place to shout on Sunday.
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Post Update 2,0 UncleJD
Dave Dorsey wrote:
UPDATE

The "planting pastor" of the church says the article is inaccurate and does not reflect the situation:

https://twitter.com/petersjwh/status/1219437180822740992?s=19



I just read his twitter page. He's a TDS inflicted, cussing, pro-LGBTQ, democrat, so of course this whole thing is about getting a "woke" church. Good news is that it will soon be a "broke" church.
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1/21/20 9:23 am


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Post Re: I also am forced to think Dave Dorsey
roughridercog wrote:
Too many of our churches have no vision or desire to win their community. They just want a place to shout on Sunday.

I wonder if this is the fault of a stubborn congregation, or of a pastor who didn't (or couldn't) inspire such a vision.

One of my church's former pastors was very intentional about "the next generation" -- not in any kind of way that made seniors feel uncomfortable or unwanted, but in a way that helped seniors understand their kingdom responsibility to impart into and serve the next generation, and helped young folks understand their corresponding responsibility to respect and honor the experience and wisdom of the older saints.

If this type of leadership is absent, especially over a period of decades, is it the fault of the people in the pews, even if they are now inwardly-focused and just wanting a place to shout on Sundays?

I realize the answer is "maybe, maybe not". I'm sure there are other situations where a pastor would have gladly led, but an older congregation would not follow.

It seems that building a church for the next generation is kind of like saving for retirement -- once you realize you really need to start working toward it, it's too late. Confused
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Post Re: I also am forced to think Resident Skeptic
roughridercog wrote:
Dave Dorsey wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
How many of our churches are in the same state as the church in a he article?

I've been thinking about this as well. Many churches face this problem. Assuming the story is accurate, this is obviously NOT the way to handle it.

But what DO you do if you're pastoring a church that has gone decades without having an intentional vision for the next generation?

Is there any possible way to turn that situation around, or do you just lovingly shepherd that congregation until most to all have gone home, close the church, and maybe start again? Do you try to merge with another congregation? Disband the church and work to find other local church homes for the parishioners?

According to the planting pastor I linked to above, the latter items are more along the lines of what this church is trying to do.

Without doubt, it is a difficult and prevalent problem.


Too many of our churches have no vision or desire to win their community. They just want a place to shout on Sunday.


What is so hard about just telling people about Jesus? I simply cannot understand this. We need to stop making the gospel about "attracting people" and make it about proclaiming the Lordship of Christ. People will either accept it or reject it. Certainly, good works and benevolence should ride piggy back on that.
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Last edited by Resident Skeptic on 1/21/20 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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1/21/20 9:43 am


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Post Re: I also am forced to think Cojak
Resident Skeptic wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
Dave Dorsey wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
How many of our churches are in the same state as the church in a he article?

I've been thinking about this as well. Many churches face this problem. Assuming the story is accurate, this is obviously NOT the way to handle it.

But what DO you do if you're pastoring a church that has gone decades without having an intentional vision for the next generation?

Is there any possible way to turn that situation around, or do you just lovingly shepherd that congregation until most to all have gone home, close the church, and maybe start again? Do you try to merge with another congregation? Disband the church and work to find other local church homes for the parishioners?

According to the planting pastor I linked to above, the latter items are more along the lines of what this church is trying to do.

Without doubt, it is a difficult and prevalent problem.


Too many of our churches have no vision or desire to win their community. They just want a place to shout on Sunday.


What is so hard about just telling people about Jesus? I simply cannot understand this. We need to stop making the gospel about "reaching people" and make it about proclaiming the Lordship of Christ. People will either accept it or reject it. Certainly, good works and benevolence should ride piggy back on that.

On my comments I seldom leave the entire list of comments, but this is a subject dear to my heart because of my up bringing and my present age. We attended a large, maybe mega church Sunday, the pastor's wife 'spoke' or preached Sunday in his absence. She was dressed modest with boots and spiked heels. Her voice was high and low so I could not follow well. But looking at the congregation the average age was young. I am sure that the young folk thought nothing of the split in her dress that when she got excited in her delivery she showed a good bit of leg, OLD MEN and WOMEN see this as TERRIBLE, is it? I really do not know.
But to my raising, my dad had a theory that ALWAYS worked for him. If you can get 20, 10-14 year old kids and keep them inspired and active for 12 years you will be growing your church. They will be solid members.
Somewhere along the line Children were left behind. At our hey-day the COG was about children, SS & YPE. Most of the children in church were there without parents, they were bussed in or brought in by their neighbors.
BUT we were not competing with Sunday little league, TV, hand held games and a weekly deliver of sex for teens.

YES we have a major problem with dying or dead churches in every state. Replants and renames have actually worked in a FEW cases, but not all. There have been some major flops going this direction. I do not know how you inspire or FIX us old folk. WE rename our own OLD groups and have a good time, but that does not grow the church or kingdom. I did have one wonderful OLD pastor tell me, he hated it, but he had reached HIS comfort zone and could not shake out of it. We could all tell he was trying........ I do hope some very smart people are working on this. Embarassed
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Post Link
This approach is totally unbiblical, of course. Young people need older people to look up to. A lot of churches separate young and old all the time instead of letting them interact and fellowship together.
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Post UncleJD
Link wrote:
This approach is totally unbiblical, of course. Young people need older people to look up to. A lot of churches separate young and old all the time instead of letting them interact and fellowship together.


This "pastor" and his entire denomination in America just voted for gay ministers and marriage. Of course everything else they do is unbiblical. And they can disguise it all they want but most likely this is an effort to go gay, not necessarily young. They want to clean-slate the church and remove the last conservatives they had.
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Post I agree with the views .... Mat
I agree with the view expressed about this situation. I think if there is an additional "take-away" I would like to know how the older members who are being shown the door feel about their giving to the local church over the years. Some years back I remember a TV news story (maybe 60 Minutes) on Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, CA. The story was decades ago, but Glade Memorial (UMC) had led the way in turning to the "gay" community (as it was called then), and was very focus on the Rainbow Coalition of Jessie Jackson, which was a precursor of the inclusion and social justice movements.

Glide Memorial was into everything, but the Bible and Christianity. I guess they won the denomination over and are running the Christians out. What made it possible for the liberal anti-Christians (anti-christ?) to operate was an large endowment that made it possible for them not to have to worry about funding the church. If you knew today that in the next generation the money you gave and the buildings you paid off might be used to fund a church that followed the path of Glide Memorial, would you still give? Would those older folks at Collage Grove Church (UMC) still have given?

Mat

PS Cojak, after reading you story about the woman, her boots and skirt, I wanted to ask if she had nice legs, but that seems really inappropriate. Rolling Eyes
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Post Too often "no vision" really means "it didn't happen." Aaron Scott
I do get what Dave is speaking of. And I have no doubt that there are churches that would rather die than switch. But I am of the considered opinion that most churches, seeing that they are dwindling and in need of new converts, WANT that to happen.

Yes, they certainly want it to happen on their terms, I'm sure--but doesn't EVERYONE? No one wants to go to a church that doesn't play music they like, or have sermons that move them, etc. No one. LITERALLY, NO ONE. Not old people. Not young people.

But be that as it may, I think most older folks understand that new things are required. That doesn't mean they will go for ANYTHING. But they almost certainly will allow for flex (especially if it is explained what the flex will be, etc.) In other words, people--old people--WANT their church to go on. But they want to be able to go with it.

Really, is that asking too much? Is it asking too much that the people who have labored for the church, given to the church, supported the church, stuck with the church, and so on, should have an honored seat at the table as the new generation comes in?

Why should the PASTOR get the kudos for "making it happen," when, in reality, it wouldn't have happened without the older folks having kept the place up and running.

I pastor a church of about 50% white, retired folks...and about 50% African American kids under 15 years old. Yep. Crazy. I don't get it. One thing is for sure, those kids are coming there to here ME preach. Yes, they love me, but they come because my wife has them sing, has snacks for them, etc.

And just this month, putting together the year-end contribution statements, I was so humbled to see that the older, retired folks are paying good money (in fact, two of our most senior ladies gave the most to the church over the past year!) to keep this church afloat. They definitely deserve a better pastor, so I am humbled that they keep being generous and kind. It's not for me (or certainly not much of it, I imagine). It's for the church. They were blessed by it in years past, and they want it to go on. And on.

Can I stop playing songs they like and just get some hip-hop gospel going? NOPE. It wouldn't be right.

Like one poster put it, that church will very likely go broke. Maybe not. But for sure when someone hurts the faithful flock that God has placed in a church for so long, it's not going to end well. The flock will leave (or stop supporting the church), and there will also be "karma" (yes, I know!) that God may visit on a church that does that.

Is there a better way? I'm sure there is. But I don't know that I have ever heard ANYONE even discuss the matter. Maybe THAT is what we ought to do here--to brainstorm ways to work with older people in a church that needs a fresh vision (not really--they just need a REVITALIZED one, since the it is almost entirely certain that the old vision was to win people to the Lord!). Surely we can come up with some ideas that make sure we don't insult that good people God has used to support a church, right?
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Post Re: Too often "no vision" really means "it didn't happen." Dave Dorsey
Aaron Scott wrote:
But I am of the considered opinion that most churches, seeing that they are dwindling and in need of new converts, WANT that to happen.

I agree with this statement. This is the natural response of the heart that has been changed by God's grace.

Are there exceptions who are too yielded to their flesh? Sure. But I agree that most of the time it's probably the case that the church desperately wants the situation to change.
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1/22/20 9:42 pm


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Post Re: Too often "no vision" really means "it didn't happen." Cojak
Dave Dorsey wrote:
Sure. But I agree that most of the time it's probably the case that the church desperately wants the situation to change.


YES, we want it to happen. And pray that the pastor can lead in that direction............... Which in many cases is impossible because of just plain physical situations, the jobs left, the young folk left for jobs and the old folk are HOPING! At least I have visited 4 churches in Florida where that is true. Crying or Very sad
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1/23/20 12:09 am


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