ABP: No more ‘holy huddles’ allowed in 21st century church leadership

Current Affairs

Here’s an interesting call for the clergy:

“DALLAS (ABP) — The single most important ingredient to the vitality of the 21st-century church is a new breed of leaders, according to a director at the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Those young leaders, Reggie Thomas says, must pioneer approaches away from the institutionalism many churches have espoused in recent years. And they must at all costs avoid the ‘holy huddles’ so prevalent in some circles.

Thomas directs the BGCT’s congregational leadership team. He says church leaders who seek to be effective may fail if they don’t consider the most important social reality in the church: culture. While some churches conform to culture in an attempt to engage it, he said, others give up and isolate themselves. Then they form that huddle and stay within the four walls of the church.

‘A lot of churches are out of touch with their community,’ he said. ‘A lot of people don’t intersect with the church’s culture.’”

This is written for the Baptist churches, but it could be true for the Episcopal Church as well. While we like to think we’re active and involved in our community, how many of really are active in the neighborhood? For lots of our churches, we are a group of people who drive into the area on Sunday morning, worship in our distinctive way, and then drive home. We often treat our own faith as a personal choice, and not as something we can comfortably talk about with others outside of a religious context.

Sure there are many notable exceptions across the denomination, but I think the majority of our parishes can be described as Sunday morning Holy Huddles. Given the pressures on parochial life, the greying of congregations and the changing urban and rural environments, it’s probably time to look for ways to do church outside church…

Read the rest here: No more ‘holy huddles’ allowed in 21st century church leadership

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...