This animation of the Titanic sinking got me thinking about denominations that are in decline and in denial.
To help you pass the time as you go under, here's 10 suggestions as you listen to the tune of "Nearer my God to Thee."
- Blame it on external factors beyond your control. Use words like secularization, urbanization, globilization and postmodernism.
- Turn decline into a virtue. Claim your members are more committed and have less children because they are better educated and care about the planet.
- Throw stones at growing movements for their Biblical conservatism, enthusiastic spirituality, and pragmatic methodology.
- Ignore the churches within your denomination that are making disciples and planting churches. Maybe they'll go away.
- Pass a denominational rule that ____ % of church officials must be under ____ years old (fill in the gaps).
- Merge some congregations and sell some assets. Turn the funds into artificial life support for everyone else.
- Commission a consultant to write a report.
- Throw a few million dollars/pounds/euros/shekels at "new missional initiatives," but make sure you never evaluate their effectiveness or viability.
- Commission another report. Follow it up with a conference on "Future Directions" at which you announce your "2020 Vision."
- Forget the founders of your movement, they look too much like the folk in #3 and #4.