Holy Shifts

Holy Shifts
Clay Scroggins
One 2015
The landscape for religion and faith in America is changing. Rather than burying our heads in the sand or taking a weapon in hand, the church has always thrived by paying attention to these holy shifts and making slight adjustments in methodology to “win as many as possible.”

Paying attention to the shifts of the temperature of a green egg. The more you open the daisy wheel, adjusting the air flow.

I.               Subtle shifts can make a distinct difference.
II.             When we fail to pay attention now, we’ll pay for it later.
Illus. Blockbuster Closing going out of business; taken over by Netflix. Investors bought Blockbuster in 1991 for 8.4 billion dollars. In 1997, Reed Hastings got a $40 late fee for Apollo 13. Started Netflix. In 2,000, Blockbuster had the opportunity to purchase Netflix, but didn’t do it. In 2010, Blockbuster was worth $24 million.

a.     People are becoming much more distrusting, especially of the local church.
                                               i.     31% of Baby Boomers say they trust the church.
                                             ii.     Gen X’ers…
                                            iii.     Today, Millennials only 19% feel like they can trust the local church.
                                            iv.     Instead of complaining about this, we should be asking the question, “Why?” Why are Millennials so distrusting? Information is so accessible to them. Seen more at a young age. 24-hour news generation. Exposed and experience more.
b.     People are becoming much more comfortable as irreligious.
                                               i.     There are more ‘Nones’ in America than any other time.
                                             ii.     In 2007, 16% of Americans claim to be unaffiliated with any religion.
                                            iii.     In 2014, that percentage grew to 23%.
c.     People no longer attend church out of obligation.
                                               i.     Online church affected church attendance in 2011. Is it okay to value information.
III.           The church should not be alarmed. However, the church should always adjust.
·      Paul was always adjusting to pay attention to the shifts that were happening, and making minor course corrections.
Though I am freeand belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews (Personality mirroring).To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak (We are all deserving of God’s wrath but we have been made trophies of God’s Grace). I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
·      You did this when you were dating, so that you could win someone else!
·      “We will do anything short of sin to reach people!” –Craig Groeschel
·      Was the juice worth the squeeze, Paul?
a.     In light of people becoming much more distrusting, building trust is crucial to building the church.
·      Read, I Once Was Lost.
                                               i.     Investing must be a prerequisite to inviting.
                                             ii.     “To create a church unchurched people love to attend, we must be a church that loves unchurched people.” Quote from Lane Jones
·      You would thing that these are attached at the hip. The first statement is all about programing, the second is all about love. “Does our staff love unchurched people? Do our volunteers love unchurched people?” If not, it starts to sell phony.
·      Refuse to see the church building as a refuge from the community.
“You are now entering the mission field.” We need to take down that sign.
·      Choose to celebrate and partner with the community as much as possible. It is hard to distrust someone who is doing a lot of good.
·      Listen closely to the stories we tell. “We are not going to tell, ‘Make it Better’ stories.” Though the staff has core values of Take it personally and Make it Better, we need to tell stories of us loving unchurched people.
b.     In light of people becoming much more comfortable as irreligious, we must lead as though we are the minority, not the majority.
                                               i.     Do not assume everyone believes what we believe.
                                             ii.     Make it as easy as possible for people to belongbefore they believe. We want to allow people to get as far as they can before they hear a “No.”
                                            iii.     Discard any us vs. them language. Sacred vs. secular. We want to have an approach us all being the same boat.
c.     In light of people not attending church out of obligation, we must ensure people’s experience is meaningful and valuable.
                                               i.     Did people leave our environments feeling that what they experienced was worth it? Not just give truth. Not just give application. But make them feel something.
“I have learned that people will forget what you said. I have learned that people will forget what you did. But people will never forget what you made them feel.”
–Maya Angelou
                                             ii.     In every environment, do people know exactly what to do with what they just heard?
                                            iii.     Does your community see your church as meaningful and valuable?

What stands between unchurched people and church? We do.