I am struck by how similar the prosperity and ‘golden age’ of American Car Manufacturers and American Mainline Protestant Denominations coincided. In the 1950s everyone drove their Buick to the local United Methodist Church (my Grandpa Hanke being the posterboy for this).
That time is over.
The article gives some great history and some reasons for the collapse of GM in particular.
In my world, I am curious about now– 60 years later. American cars are pretty much dead. Mainline denominations are pretty much on life support (not being pejorative, just looking at the numbers). But there are still strong American companies that dominate– Apple, google, movies based on Stan Lee comic book characters… What have they done to build a brand, to meet people where they are at, to give them what they want?
What is the corresponding church of 2010? Restoration is a young church with an old soul. We speak lots of words during our service. We compel people into smaller communities during the week. We love ancient liturgy and nights of Wii.
The Gospel hasn’t changed. We believe that it is the only means to true life here and everlasting life there. What’s a church look like now?