Dynamic Church Group The Demographic Shift
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Dynamic Church Group
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Alive Churches

One negative aspect of this drastic downsizing from 2019 and onward will be the effect on community groups and organizations like AA, Brownies, Scouts and IODE who presently use church buildings at little or no cost. The few buildings left in the future will be in great demand. Many organizations presently relying on donated space will fold. In the coming years, the Diocese of Toronto will be engaged in the sale of a lot of real estate property ($40+ million) as many churches close and are sold off. 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 $10 to $15 million.) We can, however, learn from the Church of England where instead of closing churches they keep the building and plant new churches beginning with households. Over thirty full-time professionals and growing do nothing else but re-establish churches in redundant buildings in 21 Dioceses and growing. Once planted, a dynamic priest may be appointed to take over its care if they can be found. The church planters move on to another place and another redundant building. 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 little. What buildings are left must be turned into luxurious, completely equipped and efficient with expansive parking lots, elevators and large illuminated signs in order to attract the Boomers and the Millenials who are turning out to be 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 presently have little significant denominational loyalty so there is no guarantee that even church inclined ones would follow the choice of their parents or Elders. They may "shop around" for the denomination or religious group offering them the best services and facilities or may not bother. 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 the institution.

Church Promotion

A much larger proportion of church budgets will have to be spent on advertising and promotion in newspapers, radio, the internet, 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 an emphasis on family and community. Family orientated churches and services should do well with these people.

"Dynamic Church Group"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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