The Mistake That Will Not Die

by

by

Comments (2)

Comment Feed

Where Multiple Styles of Worship Work

35 years ago, Carl Dudley, in is "Making the Small Church Effective," wrote of the real differences in churches. It had nothing to do with size; it had everything to do with whether a church was a "single cell" church (i.e., everyone was of the same general race, language, and culture) or a "multiple cell" church.
The latter churches, reaching out to different generations, different cultures, different languages, etc. worked best if they could have multiple styles of worship and ministry, one for each major grouping within its membership. Up into the 1960's this used to be done through multiple adult Sunday School classes, where each one became a sub-congregation and did their own worship style. (Did there ever exist a local UMC that didn't have a "Homebuilders" adult Sunday School class where none of its members had built a home in 50 years?)
Single cell churches cannot afford to do Multiple forms of worship. But, that doesn't mean they have to try to copy the styles of large churches in our denomination or of non-denominational megachurches. We need to give them permission to have a worship style that works for them. If they function well (and my metric on that is having at least 80% of their membership in church on most Sundays), they are vital. Case closed.

Tom Griffith more than 4 years ago

Statistics don't lie (but statisticians may)

Towers Watson reported a connection between worship and vitality, but never ever said there was a causal connection. So even for the 350+ member churches, we don't know if varied worship begats vitality, or do vital churches then like to offer varied worship.

Jim Allen more than 4 years ago

Notable Quotes


Alt Jesus

"Christians in America are no longer people of faith, we’re people of fear. Instead of truly putting our trust, faith, and reliance upon the Way, teachings, and example of Jesus, we put our actual faith in guns, our obscenely over-funded military, and in strong-man  authoritarian leaders."

– Rev. Roger Wolsey, a United Methodist pastor and author, in his blog post, "O We of Little Faith," on Patheos.com


“For long-term sustained action [to counteract climate change threats], we need hope. We need love. We need encouragement. We need that sense of shared community of being in this together. And for many people … faith communities often provide exactly that.”

– Climate scientist and committed Christian Katharine Hayhoe, part of a panel at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, quoted by Lauren Markoe for Religion News Service.


“Religion is more than just a belief system; it’s also a community. Churches are among our most powerful, most  important engines for civic engagement and public participation.”

– Northeastern University professor Matthew Nisbet, part of panel on communicating climate change effective to people of faith at the recent conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciencequoted by Lauren Markoe for Religion News Service.

    Nearly 6,000 readers support United Methodist Insight's mission to see and interpret the church and the world through the context of Jesus Christ's teachings. We hope you'll join in our mission. Please click on the Donate button above for online giving. Or make checks payable to our sponsoring congregation, St. Stephen UMC, and write "UM Insight" on the memo line. Then mail to United Methodist Insight, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150. Thank you!


Get United Methodist Insight Weekly!

* indicates required