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Slow Church

Rachel Held Evans had a post on Saturday, July 27, 2013 in the CNN Belief Blog on Why Millennials are Leaving The Church. Essentially she says its a matter of substance rather than style. That substance has to do with intellectual honesty, openness to questioning, authenticity, personal transformation, being positive and non-judgmental, living simply, caring for the poor/oppressed, reconciliation, creation care and becoming peacemakers – in other words, living out the gospel of Jesus, rather than just having a right set of beliefs. Rachel notes “millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.”

Christopher Smith’s post in Patheos entitled A Conversational Way Forward: Responding to the Exodus of Millennials from our Churches takes up where Rachel left off and draws the analogy to the Slow Food movement’s three cardinal virtues of food that is Good, Clean and Fair to defining virtues of Slow Church as Ethics, Ecology and Economy – practices essential to sustaining healthy communities; reconciliation of people of all races, ethnicity and sexual orientation; and an “economy of care” that provides for the flourishing of all creation.

As the author of a 2012 e-book The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities, it is not surprising that he emphasizes sitting down and having conversations with millennials and even dissenters, responding to their concerns. That might not draw younger generation back, but is an essential place to start.  This could be a slow process.

Leave a comment if you think this is right on or even more complicated.