Questions from Rebuilt
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 971
    Use the following discussion and reflection questions with chapter 2 of Rebuilt:
    1.What is keeping your church from growing?
    2.Are you being more obedient to broken systems and the wrong culture than you are to God’s will for his Church? Why or why not?
    3.How do you or other members of your parish’s leadership react to an invitation to learn from neighboring evangelical churches (which are growing)?
    4.Based on what you know about the growing Protestant evangelical churches in your area, what can you learn from them?
  • donr
    Posts: 931
    To me it is such a shame that they equate this movements music with what is actually God's message.
    Everyone should do the evangelization thing, we should all follow lesson in Matthew 5.
    It has to be about the message and not the music. Anything else is fake.
    Music is there to support the Liturgy, it is an integral part of the Liturgy. To make it anything else helps to destroy Liturgy and that is why the mega church down the block doesn't even have liturgy.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW eft94530
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,207
    1.) We are growing with a mixture of tradition and sensible liturgies that follow the book.
    2.) Who says the system is broken and the culture is wrong? Do you speak for God?
    3.) Growing evangelical churches have buildings, full parking lots, money and other goodies. How is that different from aping the folks next door with the bigger house, more expensive car, and etc.
    4.) What can I learn from them? Peddling attractive snake oil is more popular than teaching truth.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,392
    Sed contra:
    1. What are the proper standards for identifying, measuring and evaluating the quality of "growth"? And who gets to say so, and why?
    2. Ditto for "broken systems" and "wrong culture"?
    3. Are all neighboring (Protestant) evangelical churches growing (see #1) and why are only those relevant inviters?
    4. Why ought we limit our learning to our own time and own area?

  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 481
    anyone want to borrow my ten foot pole here?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 47
    YELP review of Church of the Nativity, 4/25/18:

    "This is an experimental church based on the Evangelical mega-church concept. Someone needs to tell them that even the Protestants are realizing this is a fad, and is on the way out. Although they profess "orthodoxy", they don't foster it with no kneelers, little reverence and turning the mass into "infotainment". Oddly, they don't really appreciate or even allow children at mass if they make any noises. The new church looks more like a school, and the role of the pastor/priest is greatly reduced. This place makes me want to run as fast as I can to one of the old cathedrals and pray to God for guidance in his church."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,838
    Rebuilt dismantled
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,921
    I wonder how much parish funding (if any) comes from book sales and conferences.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,529
    Some things I consider when I think about the parish that brought forth the Rebuilt book/movement:

    1 - Nativity uses more chant than the majority of parishes in the USA.
    2 - they pray the rosary communally 5 days a week - more than the average parish.
    3 - they offer 2 hours of confessions per week - not a lot by any means but greater than the huge amount of parishes that offer only one hour on Saturdays
    4 - they offer 8 hours of adoration per month. Again not a lot by any means but more than a majority of parishes. And they offer additional hours during Lent.
    5 - while I don't find their website particularly great - it does have an easy place to find their address and directions (the amount of parishes that leave this out of their website is mind boggling).
  • Ken of Sarum
    Posts: 264
    In my opinion, if all churches, apart from their liturgies, would simply do the following everyday, I believe they would be thriving and vibrant; fulfilling GOD's will.

    1. focus ALL on GOD first - places of prayer 24/7
    2. feed the hungry
    3. clothed the naked
    4. shelter the homeless
    5. visit and minister to the needy, sick and dying
    6. support the orphaned and widowed
    7. visit and minister to the imprisoned
    8. visit, befriend, support and encourage the lonely
    9. teach the bible rather than give self opinions
    10. support the family
    11. provide for and bury the dead
    12. stay humble, quick to listen, slow to speak, prudent in actions in all things while living the Golden rule



  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,237
    2 - they pray the rosary communally 5 days a week - more than the average parish.

    What data are you using about the frequency of weekday rosary at parishes? Around here it is very common.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,207
    What data are you using about the frequency of weekday rosary at parishes? Around here it is very common.


    I don't keep up with the rosary since it isn't an eastern devotion, but I do know it is said daily where I work after the early morning mass. There is also one hour of adoration each morning. As for feeding the hungry, etc. we wouldn't be constantly in debt if we did less social work. I think too many parishes promote social welfare at the expense of doctrine.

    Stay humble? Now you've gone too far.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 248
    Though the Yelp review is dated this year, I can attest from first-hand experience that Nativity's new church has kneelers and they use them.

    As to their questions:
    1. I can't really say in a public forum (though I can say that our parking lot is tiny).
    2. We are constrained by broken systems for sure. "Obedient"? Well, unlike a protestant churches of the non-denominational variety, we are part of a wider institution that we cannot simply thumb our nose at.
    3. The very idea would boggle some of their minds (and I don't think that's a good thing).
    4. I don't really know what the local folks are doing, but from what I know of the "best practices" of evangelical churches: a) having the staff work as a team, b) taking care that preaching is carefully crafted, biblically-based, and relevant to people's concerns, c) having the entire congregation see hospitality and evangelization as their task, d) talking about Jesus more than the Church (not that you don't talk about the Church; you just don't talk about it more than Jesus).
    Thanked by 3MarkB irishtenor MarkS
  • NihilNominis
    Posts: 274
    Also, within low church evangelicalism, the CCM crowd have a really cogent case for why they do what they do and the way they do it. Even people who don't instinctively like pop rock can understand the argument and wonder whether they shouldn't be doing the same thing (and sometimes convert to it! viz. Fr. White).

    We really need to fight for musical patrimony in the same way. Insist on it, make it a part of the ministry teamwork, and give clear, simple reasons for it. E.g., intergenerationality works real well at my rural MN German church with K-12 school, which now has grade school choristers singing with their elders on Sunday. The choir has an obvious future viability (it is a beloved century-old institution) and the school is enriched with a great educational and service oriented religious opportunity. From the choristers, I now have 4 grade school organ students. A praise band format shift would literally make no sense at this point. Even the much less conservative pastor next town over thinks it is marvdllous what we are doing. So, if you don't want a shift to happen, don't run your music program in a way that a format shift even makes sense.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW ELapisardi
  • 4. I don't really know what the local folks are doing, but from what I know of the "best practices" of evangelical churches: a) having the staff work as a team, b) taking care that preaching is carefully crafted, biblically-based, and relevant to people's concerns, c) having the entire congregation see hospitality and evangelization as their task, d) talking about Jesus more than the Church (not that you don't talk about the Church; you just don't talk about it more than Jesus).


    Deacon Fritz,

    I) "best practices" isn't something you can glean from Protestant Evangelical Churches, because they're on a different mission from that entrusted to the Catholic Church.

    2) not all teams are created equal. Staff shouldn't needlessly obstruct each other, but is that all that's involved in being a team?

    3) Of course preaching should be carefully crafted. As to its Biblically-based-ness, I think that one of the greatest weaknesses of the Catechism of Pope John Paul, and of the whole of his pontificate, is that he went from the Church fathers to the Second Vatican Council, as if there was nothing in between.

    4) "Relevant" should mean much talking about sin, forgiveness, the need for the sacraments and obedience to Sacred Tradition, since all of us sin, need forgiveness, can only grow in holiness through frequent recourse to the sacraments, and are part of the One Holy Catholic Church, whose sinew is Sacred Tradition. Somehow, however, I don't think that's what most people (including, perhaps, you) mean by the word.

    5) Don't most parishes have "Ministers of Hospitality", thus making it the private purview of a few noisy wheels?

    6) Before people can understand "evangelization" as their job, they need to understand #4 above.

    7) Surely you realize that one can't separate the Bridegroom from the Bride, and so "talking about Jesus more than the Church" is disingenuous.

    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,462
    4. I don't really know what the local folks are doing, but from what I know of the "best practices" of evangelical churches:


    Is assigning, as a new visitor, to a team member who is leader of a very small group that he herds. Literally.

    On leaving Sunday AM he says, "See you tonight!" and after that service, "See you on Wednesday!" and after that service, "Are you staying for "Choir".

    And these small team leaders report to their leaders and eventually all reports go to the management team. Who program events, including music, that they feel attracts the right people. Sporting events are held within the church, so that members are not exposed to relationships to non-members. Much as the Catholic church did until the 60's.

    I've worked with some of these churches TV show, and a friend performed on the PTL show (big hair) playing the organ off in another room, not on the set, invited to the Mansion for lunch, was seated in the kitchen.

    The pastoral suite in one Atlanta Megachruch had secure locked doors to the ministerial suite and bodyguards for the pastor, who once got into a fist fight with a deacon's wife in the parking lot and was arrested...he appears on TV every weekend still.

    The entire focus is making the pastor look and sound appealing.


  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 248
    4) "Relevant" should mean much talking about sin, forgiveness, the need for the sacraments and obedience to Sacred Tradition, since all of us sin, need forgiveness, can only grow in holiness through frequent recourse to the sacraments, and are part of the One Holy Catholic Church, whose sinew is Sacred Tradition. Somehow, however, I don't think that's what most people (including, perhaps, you) mean by the word.

    Sin is always relevant, due to the human condition. But you are right, that's not what I meant. "Relevant" preaching would mean talking about the moral problems posed by social media, or careerism's pressure on family life, or trying to vote your conscience in a political system that seems only to present unacceptable options, or dealing with the death of one's parents, or the difficulty of passing along faith to one's children in an increasingly secular culture. "Relevant" in the sense I mean is not preaching simply abstract moral norms or doctrinal formulations, but showing people how those norms or doctrines can have a transformative effect in their lives, how their very truth is life-giving.
    7) Surely you realize that one can't separate the Bridegroom from the Bride, and so "talking about Jesus more than the Church" is disingenuous.

    When I talk about myself, people cannot always assume that I am talking about my wife. To the degree that I talk about my wife more than myself, I am a far more interesting person.
  • Carol
    Posts: 282
    FCB, love your last paragraph. First it made me laugh and then I started thinking about it in terms of the Bridegroom and the Bride. So clever!
  • jcr
    Posts: 10
    Among the evangelicals and the main line protestant denominations a kind of interesting thing developed about thirty or thirty five years ago. There arose a number of prophets in the land who became experts on church growth. They did what sociologists and psychologists do. They investigated churches that exhibited characteristics that were assumed to be signs of growth and then they decided that if "failing" churches followed these practices, they would also achieve "success" as defined by these signs of growth. There are several of these experts who are still doing regular studies in this area. I am presently employed, with my wife, in a protestant church and the staff seems to be very concerned about the church's programs. There are quite a few serious Christians here, but the focus on programs may not prove to be such a great idea, in my opinion, because programs are for a larger purpose which is living out the Gospel. The early Church thrived because the members "loved one another", and put the Lord before all else. Advertising industry hype and "rah, rah" programs can't hold a candle to that.
    Thanked by 2bhcordova CharlesW
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,838
    There arose a number of [pathetics] in the land who became experts on church growth.
    fixed
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 38
    One issue with Mega and Rebuilt is there can be a lot of"volume" of people but a lot of churn apparently. Thus,some seekers may come and stay for a year, or two, but then exit - however the numbers stay up and appear to grow as the next wave comes in and so forth. From my friends in the mega church world.
    Thanked by 1ghmus7
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,207
    How many of these cure-all programs have come along over the years. I remember Renew from years ago, with its withered tree symbol representing something I never quite grasped. Now Rebuilt? Who said it needed rebuilding, to begin with.

    How about some new ones?

    Renege - What too many have done to their faith.
    Revolt - What I feel like doing every time some nut comes along with a slogan and program to fix the church.
    Recalculate -Reevaluating the amount of money I give that is wasted on foolish programs.
    Restore - Fat chance in "H" of that happening.
  • Deacon Fritz,

    not preaching simply abstract moral norms or doctrinal formulations, but showing people how those norms or doctrines can have a transformative effect in their lives, how their very truth is life-giving.


    Sin is many things, but an abstract moral norm isn't one of them. I read the newspaper occasionally, and see all sorts of very concrete instances. To borrow an idea from C.S. Lewis, sin is the only doctrine of the church which can be demonstrated to be true just by looking at the newspaper!

    "doctrinal formulations" -- when was the last time you can think of an example where doctrine was preached either in the abstract or in the concrete? Independent of that, before one can see how a doctrine applies to one's life, and why it matters, one must have a clear understanding of that doctrine, so a doctrinal formulation, while not perhaps sufficient is definitely necessary.

    As to the Bridegroom/Bride question..... gosh, I'm not sure where to start. When Christ established the Church, He did so as His Bride, so the purpose of the Church is to lead others to Christ. If we abandon the Bride, how can we expect to find Christ?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 47
    "doctrinal formulations" -- when was the last time you can think of an example where doctrine was preached either in the abstract or in the concrete?


    Well... Trinity Sunday is coming up this weekend. Dare we hope for much?

    before one can see how a doctrine applies to one's life, and why it matters, one must have a clear understanding of that doctrine, so a doctrinal formulation, while not perhaps sufficient is definitely necessary.


    So... let's see what the priests or deacons have in store for us on Sunday, how clearly they understand the Trinity and how well they will apply it to the life of Catholic faith and explain why it matters that God is triune.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 47
    Just read Fr. White's (author of Rebuilt) column on the PrayTell blog about liturgical bullying, of which he says he's frequently a victim.

    http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2018/05/21/liturgical-bullies/

    He makes a few good points about the lack of charity in many people who fancy themselves liturgy police.

    It's hard to take seriously such complaints from a priest whose newly-built church violates practically every principle of sound and beautiful liturgical architectural design and whose Masses adhere to rubrics where they absolutely must but exploit ambiguities and options in the GIRM to take dubious and large liberties that make Mass at Nativity more like a technically, minimally valid Liturgy of the Eucharist wrapped in Megachurch packaging and presentation than anything any liturgical document ever envisioned for Catholic liturgy.

    There are more than just a few things that can be legitimately criticized about the way Nativity celebrates Mass; that doesn't make such criticism "liturgical bullying".
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 971
    .