June 25, 2007 / David Fitch

10 Signs That Christendom May Be Over

I was up late last night and my mind started racing. I was thinking about how all assumptions about church planting changes once you no longer can assume the culture is Christian. It is actually quite humorous to think of some of the old assumptions about church planting that some of us grew up with. Boy have the times changed. Since not all of us are necessarily living in places where Christendom has died, I thought I’d offer my thoughts in terms of the following 10 signs that may indicate Christendom in over in your neck of the woods too.
10 Signs That Christendom May Be Over

  1. You do a survey in the neighborhood asking people what they’re looking for in a church on Sunday morning and they respond by saying “they never heard of such a thing.”
  2. You fill in that yearly report card for church plants from the denomination … and when you get to the question about how many converts made decisions for Christ this year, no one asks if they can count Catholics in the church as “converts” anymore.
  3. The local District says all ministries must be self-supporting in 3 years … and you ask what does “self supporting” mean? Because we already have jobs.
  4. You invite your neighbors to the new video simulcast church plant down the street .. and they ask you why they just can’t stay at home and watch it on cable.
  5. You send out 10,000 postcards inviting people to come to a more relevant church … and 10 people show up asking for tickets to the Oprah show.
  6. Your grandmother tries to explain why her church used to have a Sun. morning, Sun. evening and midweek service every week … and every body thinks she’s crazy.
  7. People mistake your Jesus tattoo for Che Guevara and ask why you prefer Marxism to postmodernity. You end up inviting people over for a coffee and talking about Jesus as an alternative politics.
  8. A denominational official visits your church and asks about your foreign missions program. Someone in your congregation mistakenly responds by sending him to the local department office of immigration
  9. No one says any more before the offering: “if you’re visiting please do not feel obligated to contribute.” Now it’s “if you’re visiting, this is what it means to be a Christian: we’re in this together and your money is not your own.”
  10. When the pastor was announcing a new church “building project” he was not referring to a new church building, he was talking about the community’s Habitat for Humanity venture in the neighborhood.

These are just a start… anyone have another one to add?

On the passing of Christendom, I might recommend this book and this one as well.