After preaching a sermon series on science and religion, Pastor Ken Wilson says, over time, 7% of his Ann Arbor Vineyard congregation up and left – his attempt to speak to the people who weren’t in his pews was taking its toll.
Ken, who’s a pastor and author, says embracing mission won’t necessarily make you popular.
In this interview see how a Johnathan Edwards-style awakening drew him and his congregation to more seriously embrace mission.
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Ken Wilson says North American Christianity is in crisis – and the best way forward is to go backward: to the tough words of Jesus regarding what it means to be missional. Here are my notes:
Carry the Burden of the Unbeliever
Look beyond the needs of your current congregation and look at the people outside, who are hurting and in need of what you’ve got – can you help them carry their burden?
The Two Tracks
Your church can ‘grow’ by 1) doing ‘church’ better than anyone else, thus appealing to current believers, or 2) go missional – reach people who simply aren’t drawn to church. Ken’s opting for #2.
Liturgy Is In
Ken finds that younger people are increasingly drawn to the ancient rhythms of the Church. His younger alter-ego longs to start a mainline congregation that’s already well-equipped to appeal.
About Ken Wilson
Ken was born and raised in Detroit, is married to Nancy, and is the father of five children. Ken received a B.S.N. from the University of Michigan. Before entering the pastorate, he worked in community mental health. Ken is the author of Jesus Brand Spirituality; co-author with Rich Nathan of Empowered Evangelicals; and most recently Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer. Ken and Nancy hosted the early versions of what became Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor in their home back in 1975.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest Episcopal Seminary in the U.S., forming men and women for leadership in the church. In addition to the MDiv, Anglican Studies and DMin degrees are their Masters of Arts degrees with a fous on Theological Studies, Christian Formation, Religion & Culture, and Biblical Interpretation. Check them out at vts.edu.