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Scenario 4 - The Rejuvchurch
  At a Glance
  • By 2020, a spiritual movement based on highly adaptive and transformative structures fuels the rebirth of tens of thousands of dying congregations.
  • These ‘new wineskins’ rejuvenate small and medium sized churches by appealing to the tastes and meeting the needs of multiple generations.
  • Individual transformations are the norm in a new environment of unhampered creativity.
The Rejuvchurch Letter
I’m Scott Holmes, pastor of Marshalltown Community Church, Iowa. I am part of a spiritual movement that has swept the country this decade, resulting in the rebirth of tens of thousands of rural and inner-city churches. We are small to medium size churches with vibrant congregations that feature some traditional elements but have organizational structures that are highly adaptive, transformative, and open.

The rejuvchurch model was initiated by several of us from the Millennial generation who shared a concern that traditional church had become irrelevant to younger generations. Believing that bigger is not always better and that there is value in ‘cradle to grave’ institutions, we designed a multi-generational church experience to ensure a spiritual heritage for our grandchildren and for future generations. The concept quickly caught fire. By 2017, a loose federation of churches that cross the boundaries of previously insular religious camps provided a spiritual home for millions of Americans who had forsaken their spiritual roots.

Facing the rapid demise of traditional churches a decade ago, we adapted the ‘swarm’ concept as an innovative experiment that came to define the rejuvchurch movement. We were caught up in ‘the perfect swarm’ as Len Fisher described it. The swarm effect occurs when groups self-organize around a focused purpose that has transformative power and a leader with a personal passion. There is no centralized authority to regulate the swarms. Like fish that coordinate their movements in shoals, or geese in flight formations, we found order in simple rules and self-organization.

We kept a minimum of basic elements such as Sunday morning worship services, Bible-based sermons, and the ordinances of baptism and communion. Yet we said goodbye to denominational dogma, boards and committees, and all the money and energy draining programs. We found that many people are willing to let go of the old ways in order to have a healthy, growing, dynamic church with magnetic appeal across generations. It turned out to be much more than an organizational change as individual transformations became the norm when people applied swarm-like creativity to spiritual growth.

Source: Steve Brimmer, 2009

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