Is Business As Usual working for your church? Is evangelism working? Are you seeing more people come to faith than are leaving your church?
How would you assess the quality of your disciples? Are biblical literacy and biblical living increasing or decreasing? Are you pleased with the way your people are following Jesus?
We ask whether Business as Usual is working for your church because everyday Americans increasingly react to biblical Christianity and churches with a shrug of indifference.
Church practices and programs that pragmatically worked in the 1980s and 1990s bear less fruit than they used to. Many executive leaders tell us that their attendance is plateaued or down and that their people’s attention and commitment dissipates into dozens of distractions.
Committed families attend twice a month, average families attend 2-3x in two months.
What’s forming the hearts and minds and daily practices of American Christians?
American culture is.
Why are so few Christians moving forward into mature discipleship? Why are so many non-believers indifferent to church programs?
Because they’ve already been pre-formed by culture not to care all that much about truth, biblical authority, restraints on their immediate happiness, or commitment.
Docent Consultations help your team make sense of the powerful social forces that shape our society, including Christians. Our consultations give executive leaders tools to understand forces like individualism, consumerism, pluralism, racism, and the therapeutic.
With a deeper, richer understanding of these cultural conditions, executive leaders can pray, think, and work towards new paradigms of ministry in their local church context.
Jonathan C. Edwards earned his M.Div and Th.M from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His writing has been featured on Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, the ERLC, Christ & Pop Culture, and Relevant Magazine. He is the author of Left: Making Sense of Life When a Parent Leaves (Rainer Publishing, 2016). He currently leads a tech startup focused on redeeming the value and use of social media in everyday life.
Brad Vermurlen earned his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Notre Dame and is the Director of Social Research for Docent. At Notre Dame, Brad was a presidential fellow and worked in the Center for the Study of Religion and Society. His research has been published in American Journal of Cultural Sociology.
Glenn Lucke graduated from Dartmouth College and RTS-Orlando (MDiv) before earning his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Virginia. He worked on staff at Second Baptist Church in Houston for several years. Through his work with Docent, Glenn has worked closely with over 100 large churches.