Counting Heads in Church

For the record, I don’t count heads in church.

Someone does it for me.

For the record (part 2), I did not ask them to count heads.

But they let me know, anyway.

And then we collectively ask, “Where are all the heads?”


Carey Nieuwhof, pastor of Canadian church Connexus, wrote a great blog post about the disappearing heads in church (even among the ‘committed Christians’). I encourage you to read this before you continue. Please do so. Now.

I was particularly struck by this:

People always make time for the things they value most.  If they’re not making time for church, that tells you something.


What are we missing?

A church member passed this along to church leadership; you’ll just have to check it out.

The Church universal has been arguing discussing the issue of ‘relevance’ for decades now.

One side says, “How can we be more relevant?”

The other side says, “But in our attempts to be relevant, aren’t we leaving the message behind?”

For the record (part 3), I’m a both/and kind of guy. Why can’t we do both? Why does it always have to be either/or?

Why can’t we be relevant (a word I am not entirely comfortable with) AND on message?

Why can’t we just do whatever it takes to be the light in the world that we are called to be?

Biblical parameters? Yes. Focused firmly on the Gospel? Yes. Are organs and hymns necessary? No. Are drums and guitars necessary? No.

What is OUR church going to be in OUR community in OUR time?

The church I pastor came into being in 1884. Are we positioning ourselves to be here in 2084? Will we still be on this corner, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable on Sunday mornings?

Will we be spending Sunday nights joined together over beer, baseball and Barth?


About pastoroftheprez

Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Kings Mountain, NC.
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