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Death of the Church

M Schulz Regele

Death of the Church

M Schulz Regele



A research based analysis of forces changing culture and how the church must change to fulfil its mission. 352 pages, from Zondervan.

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About "Death of the Church"

A research based analysis of forces changing culture and how the church must change to fulfil its mission. 352 pages, from Zondervan.
- Koorong

This is a research-based analysis of forces that are changing culture and how the church must change as well to fulfill its mission.
- Publisher

"Death of the Church is intended to provoke, although we have been careful to be accurate and responsible in our statement of the issues. We will have failed if you only yawn. You may not like what we say, but you must at least acknowledge the issues, for they are very real. The institutional church in America will look very different twenty-five years from now. Indeed, several denominations may no longer exist. We are sure that there will be hundreds of local congregations that won't. The forces reshaping our culture are too many and too strong. We see signs of social fragmentation and collapse everywhere. But we also believe deeply in the hope of the Gospel and the security of the church. Both will survive. But how the church universal is expressed in and through the churches in America will look very different. This is the issue we write about." -- From the Introduction
- Publisher

Meet the Author

M Schulz Regele

Mike Regele (M. Div.) studied at Seattle Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary. He is co-founder and president of Percept Group, Inc., and an author and co-author whose works include Exploring Your Ministry Area, Your Church and Its Mission, Understanding Your Congregation, and ReVision. A

Table Of Contents

  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • What This Book Is About
  • 1.we're Not In Kansas Anymore!
  • Part One:
  • Change
  • 2. Last One Out, Turn Off The Lights!
  • 3. Predictable Change I: The Generational Cycle
  • 4. Predictable Change Ii: The Church
  • 5. Chaotic Change
  • Part Two:
  • Focal Points Of Change
  • 6. Changing Reality I: A Requiem For Modernity
  • 7. Changing Reality Ii: A Reality For Every Occasion
  • 8. Changing Structures I: The End Of The Grand American Story
  • 9. Changing Structures Ii: When The Grand Story Fails
  • 10. Changing Players I: E Pluribus Pluribus
  • 11. Changing Players Ii: The Passing Actors---builders And Silents
  • 12. Changing Players Iii: The Imminent Actors---boomers, Survivors, Millennials
  • 13. Changing Faith I: The Insiders
  • 14. Changing Faith Ii: The Outsiders
  • Part Three:
  • The Church In A Defining Moment
  • 15. Joseph Who?
  • 16. The Decision
  • 17. What Must Die?
  • 18. The Road To Life
  • 19. Prelude
  • 20. Stop!
  • Appendixes
  • A. Generations
  • B. Whatever Happened To The Family?
  • C. Population Projections---births, Deaths, And Immigration
  • D. Religious Preference Profiles
  • E. Characteristics Of The Emerging New World


Excerpt from: Death of the Church

CHAPTER 1 We're Not in Kansas Anymore! Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz WHILE WAITING, I WONDERED how well the kids would do. After all, The Wizard of Oz is filled with singing parts. The kids playing the solo parts were fifth- and sixth-graders. But like any parent filled with pride, I knew that quality wasn't the issue. It was the experience that made it special. I was not prepared for what happened. These kids were very good. Here were twelve-year-old children singing solos to a large audience and doing a very professional job of it. I found myself pulled into the story, and its magic began to work on me. We all remember the classic scene wherein Dorothy steps out of Auntie Em's house into the Land of Oz and speaks the classic line, 'Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.' As she spoke those words, I found myself resonating with the notion on several levels---so much so that my mind took a brief excursion. Something is happening in American culture today that makes the phrase 'I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore' a more vivid metaphor than we'd like to admit. My firm, Percept, works with churches and denominations all over the United States. Percept came into existence to assist the many leaders who are struggling to formulate effective mission strategies in today's environment. The more traditional models are breaking down. We find ourselves struggling to find adequate ways to understand and respond to a world that is not what we have known. The institutional church is going through a radical change in this country, and the entire system is breaking under incredible stress. I also serve as a school board member in a large California school district. Twenty-five years ago, California led the nation in education. That has changed. In terms of dollars-per-student we currently invest, we rank near the bottom today. Yet as financial support is rapidly deteriorating, the complexity of the issues and problems that face education is increasing at an equal or greater rate. The system is under incredible stress. This is not limited, I might add, to California. Education throughout the U.S. is fighting for its life. Like the church, the world of education is finding that the traditional models are breaking down, and educational leaders are struggling to know how to respond. My world is also changing on a personal level. Nothing makes this more apparent than when I think about the future of my five children. Every day, our kids must cope with friends without both parents in the home; unprecedented levels of violence in the media; health problems, such as AIDS, that hover over their entire generation; increasing violence on school campuses; and projections that they will be the first generation in this century that will not exceed the financial and professional accomplishments of the generations that preceded them. They may not yet know it, but they too are under great stress. 'Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.' No kidding! Meanwhile, the play progressed. More and more characters came across the stage. It occurred to me that this particular presentation was a metaphor on top of a metaphor. In the movie version, the Land of Oz was inhabited by White people, albeit many quite short. At Westwood, I noticed African-American, Asian, Indian (as in India), Persian, and other Near Eastern actors. Judy Garland's Land of Oz was more similar to the image most of us hold of Kansas than were Westwood's actors! We live in Irvine, California, an upper-middle-class, highly educated, and affluent community. Yet, over sixty-eight different native languages are spoken, and 25% of the children who attend our schools do not speak English as their primary language. A recent public-television documentary discussed the general prevailing attitudes in America during the thirties and forties as the winds of war began to blow. There was a desire to remain separate and isolated from the events emerging in Europe and Asia. It noted that The Wizard of Oz was a symbol of the American mind-set. We felt we had woken up in a foreign land but we wanted to get back to Kansas. The narrator pointed out that the entire story drove that theme home. Why Kansas? For many of us, Kansas is a symbol of traditional America. A place where family is important and stability prevails, with good, hardworking people of the land---a secure place for children and adults. Kansas is an image of an era. The Land of Oz is a place of uncertainty where evil witches are at work. It is a place where things out of the ordinary occur. Where else do scarecrows talk and walk, are men made of tin, and do lions fail to be fierce and courageous? Oz is a place where things just are not the way they are supposed to be. It is an unstable place where the predictable is stood on its head. LIVING IN OZ OZ THUS BECOMES SYMBOLIC of a world out of control, characterized by stress and uncertainty. How often today do we hear muttered reflections on how it used to be? Who among us has not felt the pangs of reminiscence about what it was like when life was easier and less confusing? We too have awakened to find that we are in the Land of Oz. The changes that are occurring today in America are so pervasive and roll over us at such incredible speed, it is no wonder that we may find we long for Kansas in our hearts. With so much evolving so fast, many of us experience a high level of uncertainty, especially when confronted with choices. In Kansas everything seemed so clear. But like Dorothy upon waking in Oz, we find that often our most basic assumptions are no longer valid. We are uncertain, sometimes to the point of paralysis.

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 107008
  • Product Code 0310200067
  • EAN 9780310200062
  • UPC 025986200060
  • Pages 292
  • Department Academic
  • Category Church
  • Sub-Category Church Life/issues
  • Publisher Zondervan
  • Publication Date Jan 1996
  • Sales Rank #18851
  • Dimensions 228 x 153 x 20 mm
  • Weight 0.358kg

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