Even traditional churches can gain a healthy flexibility.
Can a multi-generational, multi-purposed, multi-managed, mixed-motive, diversely-preferenced congregation grow and adapt to a constantly changing culture?
Of course they can. But who would want to suggest it to them?
Not many ministers enjoy tightening the tension of a congregation stretched between frustration (for moving too slowly) and fear (of changing too fast).
Yet, in an age of newly-planted, zero-history, purpose-driven, narrowly-targeted, seeker-sensitive success stories, the current love of my ministry life is serving an established congregation. My passion is to communicate to these beloved but diverse people that not only is their past worthy of celebration, but their best days are still ahead.
It is a difficult mission. Most established congregations are somewhat frightened by the thought of relating to unchurched people where they are in our culture. If you lead in that direction, being wounded by "friendly fire" is likely. ...1