Missional Journal Vol. 2 No. 10 – Houston We Have a Problem

Have any of you read Olson’s book? What is your response to this data?


9 Responses to Missional Journal Vol. 2 No. 10 – Houston We Have a Problem

  1. Ben Soto says:

    Hey Dave,

    As I read your article the ending really caught my attention because I am involved in a church plant in North Philadelphia. There is a mindset I feel that church plants have that not many established churches have. For example when ever I talk or meet with a member on my ministry team one question we always ask each other is,”How do we evangelize to this community?” I feel like church plants are willing to take more risk and try new ways of evangelizing and discipleship. I think the church is in trouble when it stops asking those questions, How do we evangelize the gospel to those in our contexts? Who are the people in our community that are ignored and marginalized? How do we reach the unreachable of society?

    So what does this mean for our established churches and/or churches on the brink of closing down? Is it new leadership? restructuring leadership? restructuring mission statements ? goals? How does transformation occur?

  2. Dave Johnson says:


    I really appreciate these articles…they always get me thinking (and praying!). I am using these to help keep myself and our Ministry Leaders ‘sharp’ here. We are also in the midst of a Strategic Planning process, and these are very helpful.

    You wrote, “Moreover, it is probably easier to plant a new church than to revitalize one that is failing…” While I would not say that KCC is “failing”, I DO see your point. Even in a healthy church that simply senses a need to move beyond the “consumer driven” model, it is difficult to discern exactly where the changes need to be made, and where our current practises are good. It can feel like trying to walk through deep snow (an analogy that works here in Michigan)!

    Having said that, I simply refuse to believe that it can’t be done! By the grace of God, churches like ours MUST humble themselves, listen to the Spirit, and persevere in the process!

    I appreciate the way the Lord is moving you to write these–they are VERY helpful!

    Serving Christ with you,

    Dave Johnson, MA, class of ’97

  3. Jim says:

    I’ve never commented before, but thought I would respond to observe that the only thing that keeps me attending church regularly is my family. Truth is, I detest just about everything about it, and ours is not a bad place at all. But I’ve grown weary of “prayer warrior” breakfasts, SS classes on parenting, and sentimentalized worship services with self absorbed testimonies offered by well meaning, but cringe inducing members who seem to be trying to out-pious one another. If I get another short term mission support letter from someone going to Sudan, I’m going to scream. Cmon, wouldn’t it be more missional to just send the Africans a three thousand dollar check?
    The big trouble I see with self identifying “missional” churches is there are too many folks trying to satisfy their missionary consciences. I don’t know why I think it’s such a good idea to expose my kids to all this, but I haven’t come up with a better idea yet.

    Sorry being such a curmudgeon, but I’m supposed to attend a parenting class tonight and not too excited about it.

  4. Dave Dunbar says:


    Good comments. The statistics indicate that new churches reach more people than established churches. The questions that your team is asking are one of the reasons.

    I think there is no set rule or answer for established churches. Each situation is unique and will call for wisdom and discernment from the leaders on site. Some will be able to transition; others will not.

  5. Dave Dunbar says:

    Dave (Johnson):

    I like your hopeful comments. As I said to Ben, I believe established churches can change, but it will take perseverance—especially from leadership.

  6. Dave Dunbar says:


    I am finding that you are not alone in your sentiments. I have had pastors share similar thoughts. Many in your situation have already checked out of their churches. I would love to see more church leaders gathering to wrestle with these issues. For tonight I guess you’ll just have to put on your happy face 🙂

  7. Albert says:


    It is this very type of study (Olsen’s) which help to bring me out of ‘crisis’ within my own context of ministry about 6 years ago. I found a copy of George Barna’s work “Growing Your Church from the Outside In” and it help to answer alot of the nagging questions which consumed my every waking hour. I truly believe prompted by the Holy Spirit. Now with this fresh data the bell tolls even louder in our ears, “Repent!” Turn from our self serving narcissitic agenda’s and commit to the the work of the Kingdom, His kingdom, not ours. I am grateful to be in touch with persons of your passion and insight. I and my churhc will continue to pray and strive toward the vision the Lord has given those who would dare to seize divine moments rather than rest on human measures of success.

  8. Mike K says:

    I think some of the numbers that Olson cites reflect this sandbagging effort that churches try to put forth against “the world and its thinking”. I realize that ours is a worldview of faith and as such requires a lot more from the adherent than a secular humanist or naturalist worldview…but still our faith still has to be able to stand up in the marketplace of ideas and philosophies…I don’t think we have done a good job here.

  9. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: