The prevailing witness is that the mainline church's days are numbered. This testimony is so frequently repeated that only a fool dare challenge it. The contrary view found in Vital Vintage Church, however, comes from someone who actually attends church every Sunday, someone who currently teaches in two mainline deminational seminaries, consults with dozens of mainline churches, and stands in the pulpit almost every Sunday of a mainline church where he is the senior pastor. From that vantage point, Rev. Michael Piazza has seen eugh signs of hope to convince him that, if we can change the narrative of doom and gloom, many of our Vintage Churches are poised to experience a time of great renewal. It won't happen if we continue to do business as usual, but it also won't require us to abandon the church we love. Taking out the pews and the stained glass isn't the answer, but changes will be required. So, take a breath, take the plunge, and take it from one whose daily ministry is proving THERE IS HOPE FOR THE MAINLINE CHURCH!
Rev. Michael Piazza is a spiritual visionary, author, consultant, and civil rights activist who currently serves as senior pastor of Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Under two decades of his leadership, the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas grew to become the largest liberal megachurch in the South. Rev. Piazza also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Chicago Theological Seminary and Hartford Seminary. He is the author of 11 books, has pastored eight congregations, and is the father of two daughters.