Interesting Ideas–Share Your Thoughts

In his book Kicking Habits: Welcome Relief for Addicted Churches, Thomas G. Bandy sets out these changes in “The Changing Spiritual Yearning of the Public.” I’m using this book with my Board, trying to be intentionally provocative in getting them to think about the future of the church. We are, in essence, asking “What is Permanent and What is Transient in Our Congregation?” So what do you think? Did Bandy get it right? Are these shifts you’ve experienced or witnessed?

Twentieth Century                     Twenty-first Century
Who I am                                             Who I can become
Union with meaningful traditions     Freedom from destructive addictions
Personal loyalty                                   Personal integrity
Making sense of the world                 Appreciation of the universe
Personal history                                   Personal destiny
Friendship                                             Intimacy
Happiness                                             Ecstasy
Restructuring Society                         Transforming people
Doing good to be good                         Doing good because I am good
Committee work                                  Personal work
Life should be moral                            Life is ironic
No funny business                                Funny business
Confidence in professionals                 Confidence in grace


3 thoughts on “Interesting Ideas–Share Your Thoughts

  1. The administrative council of my old church tried doing a “group read” of this a few years ago. I loved it, but it was a bit radical for some of the older folks.

    I think Bandy gets quite a bit right. Looking at it again, this one stands out as a huge generational marker:

    20th c. 21st c.
    Personal loyalty Personal integrity

    Not sure how that all plays out congregationally, but I can tell you that by the time I left that church I was ready to lose my composure if I heard the term “cradle Methodist” one more time.

  2. I don’t know the book, so I’ll go from the list.

    Bandy seems to be saying “It’s time to dream big!” as if nobody has thought this before.

    Bandy’s 21st Century goals seem to be the 20th Century goals on steroids. I am not a fan of steroids.

    Here’s my list:
    – Who can we become
    – Delighting in meaningful traditions
    – Personal Loyalty
    – Making sense of the community
    – Personal Living
    – Friendship
    – Happiness
    – Broadened, Non-averted Vision
    – Doing what I think is good because it is good
    – Community Work
    – Life is temporary
    – Love
    – Confidence in self-government

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