Quaker Religious institutions, whether Churches, Meetings, Yearly Meetings, or Schools started by Friends all have undergone major changes in recent years. These changes are witnessed in the decline of attendance and funding within many Western Friends organizations, the splitting apart of various organizations, loss of revenue, and the constant wrestling over identity – what is and is not “Quaker?”
These characteristics suggest four needed shifts within the Quaker tradition in order to adapt to the changing times.
- Go deeper into one’s own context using Convergent Model of Renewal. Address and adjust to the changing religious landscape of Western Culture, including the fall of Christendom, decolonizing Christianity, and spirituality in a post-secular world.
- Shift from Birthright Culture To Convincement Culture
- Reconsider membership, worship and structure within a Global Information Culture: technological advances with the Internet, build Collective Intelligence, leverage mobile computing and social media to build community and broader networks. Part of the work of renewal is to build community-shared experiences so communities can talk about who they are and what they are about in clear ways. This helps to narrate their shared experiences, incorporate difference, and understand how they relate to other groups that are not this community. The ability to draw on a collective intelligence shapes our common life together. This concept draws on Ryan Bolger‘s concept of practice movements.
- Implement apprenticeship leadership model and practice-based approaches to faith community rather than individual “values” based approaches. See Powerful Practices.