from Lovett H. Weems, Jr.:
The church today requires innovation, not improvement. Making things better through improvements is always welcomed, but we are past the time when merely improving what we are already doing is sufficient to address the new cultural and social context in which the church finds itself. In a stable environment in which the church held sway as a cultural icon and enjoyed virtually universal deference, making incremental changes from one decade to the next and one generation to the next was sufficient. Updating the facilities, adding staff, introducing new programs, and making other changes to align with changing expectations and sensitivities made for continuity. Today the challenges go well beyond recruiting a few younger people for the choir or refurbishing the youth room.
This is one reason that so many congregational leaders, lay and clergy, find that approaches that worked in the past no longer seem adequate to address the declining participation and influence of their churches. Most of the efforts of the past were based on the assumption that people valued what the church offered and, even if they did not participate, knew that they should. The changes of the past were never sufficient to reach a society that each day grows more indifferent or even hostile to institutional church life.
The entire post can be read here.