I was reading an Alban Weekly article on the recent Pew Center survey of religion in American life. The article focuses on all the flux and lack of denominational identity. It concludes with:
What do all these statistics mean for those who lead American congregations? Interestingly, the survey does not focus on congregations at all. Yet the local churches, synagogues, and temples of the land are the places where all this switching, fluidity, and vagueness manifest themselves week after week. In every worship service, board meeting, Sunday school class, social event, and rite of passage, all the churn that the Landscape Survey points to “out there” in the national environment is going on “in here”—in the lives of individual members and the small faith communities they belong to. Once upon a time religious leaders represented very distinct religious communities that were clearly differentiated from the ones down the street or across town. Now our leaders work in a sea of religious vagueness and search for ways to help people surrounded by a growing tide of “nothing in particular” find something in particular to build a life upon. Stay tuned.
I was wondering if the congregation's with distinct and clear identities and missions that distinguish themselves would fare best? Your thoughts?