“The practice of design thinking in ministry is a journey of delight with the Spirit and faithfulness to the gospel to discover and be transformed by what God is waiting to bring about through close attention, deep empathy, and faithful experimentation. ”
Every era of the church has its challenges and our present day is no exception as every Christian denomination has watches its membership numbers fall. These numbers show the precipitous decline of involvement with each passing generation. A 2014 Pew Research study shows that 35% of both Evangelical and Mainline Protestants are “Boomers,” with numbers declining to roughly 12% for Millennials. It’s clear that the “Christian Century” is over and religious chauvinism is a luxury that no denomination can afford (at least, for much longer). Numbers, social supremacy, and power are not compelling enough reasons for people to affiliate with a church body. Even the kind of tribal identity that denominationalism offers is losing its attractiveness. It’s clear that something has to change, but what? And how? The principles and approaches to design thinking offers a pathway of empathetic listening, fast prototyping, and faithful experimentation for discovering, understanding, and meeting the needs of the spiritual landscape which comprises our neighborhoods and communities. This project intends to investigate and identify the ways that design thinking can guide church leaders to identify, experiment, and meet the questions, challenges, and opportunities presented by a changed ecclesial landscape.