Jesus Didn’t Die to Perpetuate an Institution: The Mother of All Culture Shifts

Jesus Didn’t Die to Perpetuate an Institution: The Mother of All Culture Shifts

By Jan Edmiston, DMin ’01 and 222nd General Assembly Co-moderator Candidate with T. Denise Anderson

Repeat after me:

It’s not – and never again will be – about getting new members.

On the heels of Mothers’ Day, I’ve been thinking about a couple of important and unimportant things:

An historic Mother Church is counting down to a terrible anniversary in forty days.

KFC’s biggest sales day is – not kidding about this – Mothers’ Day. Lots of moms got buckets of chicken for Mothers’ Day.

Denise Anderson and I will be visiting The Mother Ship in Louisville in a couple weeks to prepare for our stand as Co-Moderator of the PCUSA.

As I meet with church leaders and am asked how to get young families to join the church time and time again, I realize that The Mother of All Church Culture Shifts is this one:  It’s not and never again will be about getting new members.

As always, the question is “why?”

Why are we offering a Bible study in the back room of a bar on Wednesday nights?

Why are we starting a new worship service on Sunday nights?

Why are we feeding homeless adults on Friday nights?

Why are we opening a pre-school?

It’s not about getting people to join our churches.  It’s about making disciples. It’s about serving the community.  It’s about loving our neighbors.  It’s about loving God.

It’s never, ever again about building the membership and subsequently adding to our coffers and subsequently helping our congregations survive.  Jesus didn’t die to perpetuate an institution.

Old message.  Saying it one more time.  Thanks for reading.

Jan Edmiston is the associate executive presbytery for ministry in the Presbytery of Chicago, where she has served since 2011. Prior to that she served congregations in northern Virginia and New York. She completed her MDiv at Andover Newton Theological School and her DMin in Christian Spirituality at CTS in 2001. She has graciously agreed to let us repost some of her blog entries (including guest bloggers) from A Church for Starving Artists.

Original post HERE.

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