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With media so present all around the youth, they see a standard and they try to emulate it. A further study revealed that American teenagers see an estimated 14, sexual references per year on TV, and only about of those references deal with sexual responsibility. This statistic along with others shows how America is in a moral decline, and gives us knowledge as to what influences the upcoming generation.

If the youth and the future leaders of the society are to be reached, one must start from those that influence their everyday actions, and get them to change. If this is done, the youth will follow. Those that influence the youth, greater than celebrities and other such people are parents and educators. It would be wise for parents and educators to educate children in moral behavior through both word and action.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach stated, "First and foremost, my mother influenced me…She was the first one to influence me" Shmuley Boteach, January 8, He later says that after his mother, his father and his educators influenced him most. When we are first born, we follow our parents examples and actions to learn how to do everything. That is how we learn to talk, walk, and act. If parents teach the youth early, the values and morals learned will stay with the kids forever, and it will determine the quality of their future.

Educators as well give a lot of influence for what the youth turn out to be. As required by law, youth around the country go to schools five days a week, and are put into the hands of these educators for usually about six hours per day. During these six hours, the students listen to and learn from the learned educators. It is as simple as doing laundry. If you place a black cloth in bleach, it is not going to come back out black.

Educators can be influencing students for good or for bad, and the students will be direct results of what they have been taught. James A. Lee said, "There is a need as never before for the schools to train their students to stand on their own feet and act in terms of their own standards" James A. Lee, If we have a society where both parents and educators are influences of good morals and values, the morals and values of our society will rise accordingly. The last and most important champion of moral reform, are the individuals themselves. People want to be good and to be the cause of something that will better society as a whole.

To have enough influence to create a moral change, we need the individuals themselves to have the drive. This drive is something that cannot be forced or impressed upon any individual. Moral reform of the country is a big movement. If the individual is not deeply committed to the cause, it will not last, nor will it have to drive to push the much needed moral change. It takes conviction brought upon by the individual's free will.

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Just as the American Revolution was a minority movement The American Pageant, , a minority movement is all it takes to make a nation aware of a problem. It can be likened to the ripple in the pond. All it needs is one starting ripple, and it will spread much farther than it started. Henry David Thoreau said, "Be not simply good -- be good for something. If we are not careful, our society will rip itself from the inside out. We are under attack every day as our morals and ways of life are being challenged by the lack of good moral leadership.

If the leaders and influences of the upcoming generation can teach and live a good example, we can provide a good life for future generations. The relationship between parks and crime remains the subject of debate. Researchers hope the technology will further our understanding of the brain, but lawmakers may not be ready for the ethical challenges. The image of an undead brain coming back to live again is the stuff of science fiction.

Not just any science fiction, specifically B-grade sci fi. What instantly springs to mind is the black-and-white horrors of films like Fiend Without a Face. Bad acting. Plastic monstrosities. Visible strings. And a spinal cord that, for some reason, is also a tentacle?

4 Ways We Can Stop Church Decline - Trending Christian Blog

But like any good science fiction, it's only a matter of time before some manner of it seeps into our reality. This week's Nature published the findings of researchers who managed to restore function to pigs' brains that were clinically dead. At least, what we once thought of as dead. The researchers did not hail from House Greyjoy — "What is dead may never die" — but came largely from the Yale School of Medicine.

They connected 32 pig brains to a system called Brain Ex. They have conducted gene therapy on beagles with the Tufts veterinary school, and are currently advertising for Cavalier King Charles spaniels, which are highly prone to an incurable age-related heart condition, mitral-valve disease; almost all of them develop it by the age of ten. But the team has larger ambitions. It has been identifying other targets for gene-based interventions, studying a database of aging-related genes: genes that are overexpressed or underexpressed—that make too much or too little of a particular protein—as we grow old.

In the CD replay of life, these are the notes that get muffled or amplified, and Davidsohn and Church want to restore them to their proper volume. Church is optimistic about the genetic-engineering approach. My guess is that dog trials will go well. Church is aware that the Food and Drug Administration, among other regulatory bodies, may not be crazy about weird new therapies that address what we customarily take to be a natural process. The goal is youthful wellness rather than an extended long period of age-related decline. There are many skeptics among scientists who wonder how much, or how soon, this kind of work will really affect aging.

Others may recall the enthusiasm, in the early twentieth century, for implanting monkey glands in people, a procedure that was held out as a scientific solution to the problem of aging. Yeats had a related procedure. The fountain of youth is always splashing away somewhere. Behind the optimistic promise of heading off aging in spaniels and, soon, in their owners lies a sadder reality: that even foundational research cannot always cure a fundamental problem.

Despite what had seemed to be groundbreaking discoveries in the basic genetics and pathology of dementia, no cure or even promising treatment for senility, as it once was called, is in sight. Here, there is talk not of imminent innovation but of discouragingly minute work proceeding on many slow-moving fronts over decades. His tenth-floor office is filled with reproductions of Blake illuminations and Whistler portraits, while photographs of his children cycle on the screen saver behind him, blended with images of whales and dolphins, a particular interest of his.

He is white-haired, with the soft accent of his native Switzerland. We do tissue staining, taking a piece of brain or an entire brain—slicing them into very thin sections, which we incubate with an antibody that labels a specific population of neurons, and we collect that.

Or we can load neurons with a fluorescent dye—inject it, using a very thin glass pipette that runs right into the neuron—so then we have a fluorescent neuron! In a large common lab outside the microscopy rooms, there are shelves holding rows of what look like hinged, dark-wooden cigar boxes. It looks small, because it was incubated in a chemical process—we started with the entire hemisphere and then incubated it in an alcoholic treatment, and it shrinks by two-thirds.

Then you stain it, and there you go. The brain room is a revelation. Here they are: human brains, monkey brains, dolphin brains—the space between brain and mind never seems so large as it does when you actually see the material of mind, curved and segmented, as ugly as an intestine, floating in a fixing solution. It looks beautifully broad, with nobly large-spaced convolutions.

Finding the brains of senile cetaceans is hard, he says. The relative importance of the two was disputed, but many scientists concluded that those plaques and fibrils clog the brain as coffee grounds clog a drain. It seemed likely that there would be therapeutic benefits if they could be cleared away. They are the old-fashioned sins: obesity, a lack of exercise, bad diet—and the diabetes that these can produce.

For all the cascades of research into longevity, the new science often seems to distill into old wisdom: be fit, stay thin, and you will look and feel younger longer. Every elder is unique, and will have had life experiences and habits that are unique. Then we need to have a better understanding of the causative factors.

There are leads that point to a number of interesting markers. There are proteins that play cellular roles that effect a cascade of reaction inside the cells, but it becomes very difficult to target specifically without altering other functions. None of it is easy. As you take off the agnes suit—piece by piece; the boots and then the wrist weights and the impeding gloves—the feeling is disconcerting. We forget our insides, and fold ourselves back out. The true condition of youth is the physical ability to forget ourselves. Glenda Jackson, now playing Lear on Broadway at the age of eighty-three, captures the indomitable egotism of the aged.

Watching her onstage, we are asked to recognize not just the anger but also, eventually, the wisdom of age. A decade and a half ago, a Presidential council chaired by the bioethicist Leon Kass produced a report raising questions about research into extended longevity. Eerily, they were given a precise phenotypic marker, a blemish above the left eyebrow, and were given, too, the ill temper associated with age. Dave never so much as did a double take. When I say hello to people, they know it because I mean it. I had the good fortune of basically cornering Dave in the grocery checkout line one day.

Dave was stuck. No one else was talking to him and he was now sandwiched between me and the 3 people ahead of him. I actually felt bad for him as he feigned a kind hello and asked if he knew me. You tell me, Dave. When I told him I saw him every Sunday for numerous years at church I thought his head would fall off. It was disgusting. It was a fossilized, familial, generational clique of the passive -aggressive. A virtual mirror image of high school hallway psychology. If I had to name it, I would call it pious bullying, and it was commonplace. It was sad and sickening.

We did meet wonderful people, and many of them left, as well. We were the legitimate congregation. We are still in touch with friends we made there. I own my opinion, but so many others have echoed similar sentiment. No matter who they are. Your last sentence does not show that in my opinion as I read the following verses. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.

Honor one another above yourselves. Ephesians Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Well thank you Peter, for clearly illustrating point 3 of why people leave the church! No wonder people are leaving the church when they are judged for sharing their legitimate feelings! Jesus quoted scripture all the time so he must also belong in the same group as I. Not listening and, therefore, not understanding.

I may understand the writer much better then you think. You see, I was a pastor of a church for six years. Everything was going great and then I got sick and had to take a month leave off. A person who I had confided in, whom I considered a best friend, and this person was also a board member as well, decided that I could not be a good pastor, that I must be living in some secret sin etc. They called other churches and pastors to get their opinion about me.

In six months both due to my lingering illness but also because they were those in the congregation did not see me fit as a pastor, I respectively resigned and remained as their pastor until they found another, I felt totally betrayed but this person and the few other who had agreed with this person.

My health was not the best, I lost my job, my wife had to resign from hers also as we also had to sell our home. I could have allowed my anger turn into bitterness and become someone that should never be allowed behind a pulpit again. However, God began to remind me of the scriptures I quoted earlier and months later when this person called me I was able to forgive them through the love of God. I have shared my legitimate feelings. I hope so, I really hope so. Sorry that church is so bad for you.

For me I thank God for the church I attend. After losing our son in October age 25 it has been God and the church family that has been our strength and encouragement. Peter, I read your comment regarding scriptures. Your second comment seems to say that you think that what you did was okay because it was scriptures. I do think that you are missing the point. You may have experienced something similar and good for you that you were able to overcome it. But exhorting a person with scriptures may not be the first thing to do.

As Stephen Covey says — seek first to understand. And now here is my very clear reason I would rather spend my time around more accepting loving people and I have not ever once found those people in a church. They will spout out every reason in the world including quotes from a Bible to explain why they are better. Love is an action. If you are a believer, hence Jesus lives in you, and Dave did not receive you and the Good News you bring repeatedly , then it is the same as him denying Christ. Bottom line: Dave is to be pitied, because he is evidently merely a religious person!

Either way, pray for Dave and love Dave, even if it has to be from a distance. I hope you find a good fellowship to meet so you can be blessed and be a blessing to others! Take care and God Bless! I thought you Christians are suppose to love everyone. If I remember in Sunday School there is a place in the Bible that you are suppose to even love your enemies. But maybe it is not true for everyone. Maybe you Christians can hate other people.

One may love their enemies and want the best for them. But this does not demand that you spend time with them and allow yourself to be abused. We can find the answer in the Bible, both the Old and New Testament. Jesus Christ gives the answer in Matthew Jesus was being questioned, but He had the answer: love God with all of your being and love one another. Look, the best one of us has failed in this. Does that mean that we are hopeless?

Not at all. God loves each of us in spite of our failures. God made us and God is able to redeem anyone willing to allow God to perfectly accomplish what each of us is unable to do ourselves — perfect love and complete forgiveness. I embrace and love what God is doing in me, definitely a broken vessel, yet a person who genuinely is forgiven, loves and forgives others as God has forgiven me.

When we fail, give the real work to God. All God wants is for us to love God and one another….

Moral responsibility in a rapidly declining society

I do not believe my main point was spending time or allowing oneself being abused by your enemies or hypocritical Christians. My main point was you Christians saying how certain people belong in hell. And if I remember the person was speaking about a hypocritical Christians belonging in hell. Not say they belong in hell. God does not accept anyone without repentance. And when we do wrong, He calls us out through the Scriptures. Wow, Peter, for a pastor you have some forceful words to share. Unfortunately these types of provocative statements just come across as arrogant, angry and finger pointing.

When people are hurt, they retaliate — in words or deeds. Perhaps not everyone has your level of ability in this regard. But we need to connect with people in their hurt with healing words and not more condemnation. I would suggest that you find a better way to connect with people. I do not go to church because I quite simply feel fulfilled without it, and the experience of church has not improved my life or the way I live it.

I feel that I get the things church is supposed to provide moral education, community, spirituality, charity from other sources: friends and family, literature, personal meditation, volunteer work. I do not feel closer to god at church. I think that this generation is more self-reliant.

I know some fantastic atheists, to be frank. I also know some horrible Christians. This is actually a good thing. Church is not what makes one good. Speaking more personally again, I feel that the church has gotten too involved in politics and that has soured a lot of people i know both liberals and conservatives alike. Recently my father-in-law almost walked out after the pastor condemned Trump. At a church sermon, these topics are not open dialogue. I think people today want more interaction.

More dialogue. Not someone telliing them what to think or how to feel. As a result of these poor sermons, church has come to be stereotyped as old-fashioned, narrow-minded, and even bigoted. This goes back to 1 on the list, but it can be hard to find peace, hope, and moral guidance from an institution that has been close-minded and hypocritical. I know that not all churches are like this.

And when it is degrading, then of course people will abandon and seek out other avenues for moral education, community, and whatever else church has offered people in the past. As I read your comment some ideas came to mind.

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There have been churches very involved with political issues for at least a thousand years. Some of this can be read when reading about the crusades, or Henry VIII had England leave the Catholic Church, or the many pastors that spoke about the American Revolution, and those who spoke before and during the Civil War and slavery. There has been people that have not been Christlike or hypocritical since the beginning of the church, Ananias and Sapphira was struck dead when then lied to Peter. There have always been issues that have caused people to leave the church over controversial issues. And Christ was always upsetting some group or another.

Jesus would have had to keep himself quiet most of the time if that was true. In fact, He was crucified for dealing with controversial issues. That is some of my comments for what they are worth. The reasons are various. The Christian community. I just returned from a church service. It was uplifting to me. Second, the church people gently remind me I am not alone and others can empathize with the issues I am going through. Third, I can help others because I am there to encourage them.

Fourth, the church sing a variety of styles of music and if I really read or listen to the song, I can receive something from those words. Fifth, hearing a sermon teaches me more about God through the people God said he gave to the church for our good. Finally, I came together with other people to worship God. We have been told to meet together in the Bible No church is perfect, but neither is any family perfect, and no person is perfect. I thank God He set up the church as it is shown in the Bible. It has never been perfect but together I am learning to become more like Jesus and reach out to other people God tells us to do.

Thank you Lord for the church service this morning and for all the different people that was there. Because of you I am glad I am going back to church. I have missed because of illness or things had to be done for house repairs. Fellowship is a challenge for me as I love church but dont care to get to know people. But that is my issue. But your post reminded me that church is a place of sanctuary.

I think you are missing the point. It can be a place of everything that is important if you use your free will. I can almost break down your argument as the church needs to get with the times. But I bet if there were an imminent natural or man made disaster you would not hesitate to be in church. I thank God for you. Because he sent me here for a purpose and to get back to church. Other issues, activities, and even hobbies come before God.

Moral failures have been happening for centuries. Sadly some people want their desires met instead of their needs. The article was excellent. Lots to contemplate and apply. I thought this was for free, but it's a business. I can't imagine Jesus charging for wisdom, especially if the "Free" tag is used to get me in the door and then a guy is telling me what a deal he is giving me. Thank you again for the article. This is the foremost reason Evolution is presented as fact.

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Giving lists of hundreds of ways the Bible contradicts itself.. Starting right at Genesis : God created man then animals yet he created animals first then man. So which is it? I think well I know.. In an age of internet dating and social media people are accustomed to getting to know someone else through written description before experience. Even myself at 38yo I met my husband 51 yo thru mutual friends.. On Facebook. And much less if they appear very negative or at least if the internet is making a very strong case against them.

All the other points in the article are very valid points also. Absolutely I would state most young people are either atheists or believe in a different religions version of God. Important topic, but just touching on the tip of the iceberg. Love the article and the posts.

As a lifelong Christian, my husband and I tried several churches. At one, We went to eat with the pastor and his wife. She told me that church isnt about the social piece. This contradicts everything I was raised to believe in and what is in the Word. No social piece? A second one we attended for over a year, we made multiple attempts to reach out.

A close neighbor committed suicide, and none of the six on the pastor team were available to talk or meet. As I have done my whole life, I had to go to my childhood pastor. Churches have become country clubs and there is mo place for the lost sinner to go. There is no comfort to Christians in a warm community. We have quit trying, but the Lord continues to bless us and direct our lives. I agree with you. Went through a difficult period in my life last year and the only people that came to my paid were non-Christians.

I still believe in God but choose to walk my own way. Loved your post. Small churches burn out their volunteers trying to be church. The church has a thriving homeless and free clothing ministry. We sit side by side with scruffy homeless. If someone snores during church we smile and bless them.

We wear our everyday clothes so anyone off the street feel a part of our church family. We were only faithful. When the church found out they asked if I would join the homeless leadership team and gave me a budget. That became managing 2 of the closets. And heading up the art group, curating art shows and community art outreach. My stepping down blessed the church with others who stepped in with new ideas so it was the right decision. In all of my selfishness of this time period my middle son lost interest in the kids Sunday School, there are no kids his age for him to connect with.

To make it worse during the year I was gone a dog attacked my youngest and there was no support just emptiness. Im an odd ball. Andy Stanley got in trouble for a comment about little churches and parents. There was something completely freeing to go anonymously to a church and soak up beautiful music with no burn associated with it. Not just yet. I have nothing much to add except my prayers and virtual hugs to you. You are carefully treading right now it seems and I agree you need the relative anonymity of a larger congregation for at least this season.

Family comes first and if your children are being nurtured at the larger church than that is where you should indeed be. Ive felt alone myself and left a church that my kids had nothing for them kids have to know that they have a valuable place in the church other wise we loose them when they are young adults. I still go to church but skip when needed.

Church is NOT setup for a person like me. Many people use prayer as a form of gossip. Mission work being getting more people in the church, not actually helping people in need which I enjoy. I never really found God at church with a few exceptions. I enjoy the music and worshipping God with it and I enjoy learning about God which often includes things i miss reading it myself. Church God is very strict, harsh, etc.

Real God is extremely loving, more than comprehension…. You could literally do nothing I life, die and God would welcome you with open arms. God looks at us like we are complete, gods, his child, Jesus. You get the idea. Speaking of judgemental….. Does God need anything from anyone? I wonder who else keeps quiet. You would think church would be the place you would talk about it…..

Also God talks to us all at night. You can even teach yourself to lucid dream wake up in the dream and astral project pull your spirit out of your body like I do. So not an open, accepting community at all. Well, my experience has been strictly dealing with hypocrites. No offense to anyone reading this. He said the kids could come. Come to find out he made it a habit of bothering women at work before me and after and bothering multiple single women also at church.

The church was the New Age type and loud cranked up music, more setup like a bar scene and a perfect place for men to pick up women. Then for everyone to deny what the heck really goes on is a joke. The whole experience was a joke. I mean come on people, I know none of us are perfect, but give me a break. The biggest reason would be the hypocrisy. Who wants to spend their time every Sunday with the same rehearsed lines every week only to see the people act in a different way? I have never found that to be helpful. When a friend of mine invited me to come to her church, I asked my mom and she said that it was OK.

Only after a few months, it was not OK. Whenever I would say no, her mother would get in my face and talk to me in belittling tone on why I have to go to church. Sadly, my mother allowed this, even after I tried to put my foot down. What could have been a good church turned out to be a church that represented all five reasons that Carey mentioned in the blog. I have always felt alienated whenever I went to a group function. Another problem is the frequency of attending events or activities. If a person choose to go to an activity one a month vs.

The reason why I feel this way is because even after going to church groups for a few months, I have never felt any kind of closeness with anyone. With a lot of groups, there is no contact or connection unless you attend every event or activity. There is no feel of family or love in these groups. When teaching about God, the tone should not sound vain. I have found that when people use the name of God in everyday issues or occurrences, their tones are more arrogant, as if they know more than the next person. We all need to remember that we do not have the all the answers.

We might not have any of the answers. As far as having legitimate doubt, the churches have always judged and condemned people for having any doubts. One of the things that our Sunday school teacher would always do is ask all of us if we would die today, would we go to heaven or hell. When he came to our house to talk to my mom. He asked her if she were to die today or tomorrow, would she go to heaven or hell.

I thought that it was profound to hear a pastor say that. Maybe if more pastors used profound statements, it would make people think more about their faith and their way of life. This is the best response to an article like this regarding church attendance that I have ever read.

It is spot on. Furthermore, I… would… be… absolutely thrilled, perhaps beyond words, to find an assembly of Christians which resembled your last paragraph, Yaca Attwood. To be able to worship God in that way would be so good for my soul which was nearly stripped from me by domestic violence… which was known about and ignored by my church leadership though I was a leader, and a member of that group.

Most technical people gave up. This is my 7th church in 60 yrs. Privately invited to social activities. I sit in the pew with the other widows, singles etc considered rejects. OK to attend the picnics, make hefty donations etc. But good bonding outside church or bible study etc. How to get involved? Should be limits on how committees, offices, projects for each member. Not much opportunity to volunteer except for jobs no one wants. The short answer? Not much since I attend church solo.

Block take-over activities that attempt to oust a current servant who is doing the job correctly. Okay, adding another thing—I wonder if Churches are experiencing an epidemic of bad manners? Another Church we visited we walked in, we were early, only the pastoral team and leadership volunteers were there, they were meeting in a gym. So, we walked in, took a seat, all of their eyes were upon us. No one smiled. No one said hello. They went about their business of preparing for the service. I was watching the clock coz at that point I wanted to bolt so badly. Literally, it took over 15 minutes before anyone came to say hello to us, when clearly we were brand new.

I mean, would you treat visitors to your home like that? Would you treat colleagues at work like that? Kids in a school classroom? Where else can you find the worst manners but at Church? And when you complain, oh, the defensiveness. Just want to reiterate something about small groups—I think small groups have made Churches lazy. Why would anyone want to join a small group if the Sunday morning is utter agony? People with dead eyes shoved bulletins in our hands. We can miss the basics: good manners, a smile, authenticity, honesty.

Also, sometimes leadership in small groups is shockingly bad. Small groups are participatory and people can be real. You must look a little deeper to find the truth about anything. God Bless You to find the truths you desire. I have a question. My parents decided to start a home ministry almost 7 years ago. We hold events in parks, at the beach, etc. The teachings that are taught are thorough… True, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Really the intent of our ministry is to teach others the word of God, and not just teach but instill and live it.

I live in an area where we have about 3 power churches. Filled with lights and awesome buildings, and some are great and powerful churches. Then there are those churches that are huge but then a lot of the congregation are spiritually dead. Should I accept that this is what God has for our ministry right now and that we need to be patient? Or is there something else we should be doing? But a few thoughts. My vision from day one was that this was never about us, but the community. And we grew. So I would cast a big vision and then lay out steps on how to get there.

Hope this helps. However, not every church group does. House churches are great but as pointed out by Carey, space does limit you. It is more of a small group model in some ways. Each house has a leader and these leaders work together. Often once a month, all of the house church participants may get together to celebrate and worship. The challenge will be when participants want things that can only be achieved through a more structure church i.

This would be a time to consider a family church model where parents and kids are taught together so that parents can be leaders for their kids and reinforce teachings at home. This is a more effective model for raising christian kids. What you are doing is very worthwhile! Might you consider a different pattern of growth? If there are, say, 20 people involved in this home ministry, why not split up into three groups of 6 or 7 people meeting in three different homes, with perhaps your parents or other leaders floating between them?

This gives new people the opportunity to lead, teach, and show hospitality. Then as the new groups reach people, divide again and continue in this pattern of growth, with a few threads connecting the various groups. It is not a perception, it IS clearly the reality in a lot of churches though certainly not all churches. If people can not find God in our fellowships, WE, not them are the problem.

Any solution to this must start with what it is we are doing and offering and work out from there. I know that sounds harsh, but I have seen it over and over and over again. Pastors speaking and not doing any exegesis, teaching out of or even reading the Bible. He created it, not us. We are living in that very time! Praise God! Come Lord Jesus! A very good article indeed! I left the church three years ago because of abuse by leadership. For me to even comment on an article on a ministry website is something that even surprises me, but I could feel the spirit in which this article was written in and its one of love, not judgement or finger-pointing.

For 15 years I endured a very legalistic, harsh, abusive church environment. Make no mistakes about it, I was part of it, probably the Saul of the legalism and harshness. But God graciously opened up my eyes. Am I still hurt? Do I question my faith daily? But, maybe its because I have seen to much, or studied the bible for to many years to completely walk away. Thank you for the article, nice to read something that admits there are somethings that need to be worked on by us all! Lisa Ranieri Alexandria VA.


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Lisa…thanks for sharing your story…and for leaving a comment. There are some things we all need to work on, and thankfully, I know many church leaders who are. I hope and pray you find a church community which is everything it was designed by God to be. See and read. All your. Agree ….