Dynamic Church Groups The Demographic Shift
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Alive Churches 21

Effect on Communities

One negative aspect of this drastic downsizing by 2018 A.D. will be the affect on community groups and organizations like AA, Brownies, Scouts and I. O. D. E. who presently use our buildings at little or no cost. The few buildings left in 2018 A.D. will be in great demand. Many organizations presently relying on donated space will fold.

In the years up to 2018 A.D., the Diocese of Toronto will be engaged in the sale of a lot of real estate ($40 million) as many churches close. At the same time, there will be new challenges in the planting of new churches in new housing developments at great cost (an estimated average of $2 to $3 million.)

We can learn from the Church of England where over twenty-five full-time professionals do nothing else but plant new churches beginning with households. Once planted, a dynamic priest is appointed to take over its care. A body of research is already emerging in this area which could greatly benefit us.

Church Reserves

The Church's reserves built up over the last fifty years of plenty will be needed for the coming years of famine. What buildings are left must be luxurious, completely equipped and efficient with expansive parking lots, elevators and large illuminated signs in order to attract a very finicky segment of the population. They must be completely accessible, air conditioned, sprinklered and have full multimedia and sound facilities included for the hearing impaired.

Boomers or X-Generation persons have no significant denominational loyalty so there is no guarantee that even church inclined ones would follow the choice of their Elders. They will "shop around" for the denomination or religious group offering them the best services, facilities, etc. There will, I believe, be a proliferation of shop-front, TV and Internet groups of every type imaginable to meet this emerging need for spirituality but not institution.

Church Promotion

A much larger proportion of church budgets will have to be spent on advertising, promotion and public relations in newspapers, radio, TV and billboards in order to compete. At the local church level and maybe through TV adverts we might be able to win some "Boomer Rebels" through our emphasis on human rights, freedom and individuality, but these are also noted for their "skepticism of institution and authority". "Boomer Communitarians" on the other hand could be attracted through emphasis on family and community. Family orientated churches should do well with these people.

"Dynamic Church Groups"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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