Ministers Week addresses how modern culture is changing churches


American society is transforming and the first speaker for Wednesday’s session of Ministers Week said he urges churches to strategize new ways to cope with the changing culture.

Rev. Craig Van Gelder, an emeritus professor of congregational mission at Luther Seminary, spoke about “The Great Unraveling: What’s happing to denominations and their congregations in the U.S.?”

About 100 people were at the University Christian Church Wednesday at 9 a.m. to listen to Van Gelder’s humorous, yet serious message. 

“Majority will soon become a minority,” Van Gelder, who is also a consultant with the Missional Network, said. “We are in the last bit of white America keeping control.”

He explained how the church has grown, sustained itself and changed over history. 

Van Gelder said the transformations present in modern day that have caused churches to struggle are media, technology, globalization and more. 

Individuals now have access to a wide range of churches instead of just simply attending a neighborhood congregation. Van Gelder said multi-site, social network, emerging and mutli-cultural churches are all growing options.

The best way to reverse the “great unraveling” is to learn how to get the church to grow while adopting new approaches, Van Gelder said.

“We behave our new way into thinking,” Van Gelder said while discussing how to find new approaches and keep God in mind.

Ministers Week celebrates Brite’s centennial year by inviting various well-known speakers and pastors to discuss how to shape the church with our continuously changing culture. 

To find out more about Ministers Week and the speakers attending, visit their website.