News Column

Timothy Bryan James: Community Churches Strengthen in Face of External Challenges

Jan 21 2013 12:00AM



MONTEREY, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/21/13 -- Despite the fact that many churches in America have faced a decline in attendance, lack of connection with youth and economic troubles, a recent article from The New York Times reveals that many are finding new opportunity in reinvented community churches. Although the article suggests megachurches may be in a state of decline, there is still a strong interest for pastors to protect their faith. While the spirituality is noted to be the same as that found in any conventional church, these new community congregations are rising up in successful church plants or unexpected places -- such as a coffeehouses. Pastor Timothy Bryan James of the Monterey Church is one such missionary who has experienced the success of church planting within a community in need.

Although Timothy Bryan James began his career as a gifted entrepreneur, he eventually came to realize his spiritual calling. Specifically, it was the decline in church attendance that led him from Georgia to the Californian city of Monterey -- a place in which 70 percent of residents claimed to have Christian faith, but only 10 percent actually attended church. Since the foundation of Monterey Church, James and his congregation have witnessed tremendous growth and an effective way to introduce community members to the Word of God.

However, the cost of establishing a new church is one that still has many young pastors apprehensive. The article explains, "Today, younger pastors are less willing to try to finance multi-million dollar churches with debt. After the recession, there was a surge in church foreclosures, reaching record highs in 2010 and 2011." For this reason, many churches have found ways to incubate business while attracting newcomers to the faith through established community coffeehouses or performance venues. Although these places may just be a place for people to socially gather and share coffee, the atmosphere is noted as one that is welcoming to those who may seek spiritual enlightenment. Aside from the economic benefit of these new churches, Houston Clark -- church designer -- tells The New York Times, "Kids in their late 20s to midteens now, they really crave intimacy and authenticity. They want high-quality experiences, but don't necessarily want them in huge voluminous buildings."

Having an active youth community within the Monterey Church, Pastor Timothy Bryan James explains that despite the economic stressors facing the Christian community today, many have found success by uniting and innovating their approach to spirituality. James concludes, "This new trend of community churches is important to observe, but I also think there are greater forces, such as finances, driving churches into smaller environments -- not decreasing interest. Individuals facing difficult times are actually more likely to draw near to their spiritual environments, especially towards their church family. This may well make it more attractive to attend a church in a smaller venue, where it is perceived it would be easier to connect."


Timothy Bryan James is the founder and lead pastor at Monterey Church based in Monterey, California. Having led a life as a promising small business owner, Timothy Bryan James eventually discovered his calling to serve Jesus Christ and spread the Christian faith to the West Coast. Along with the help of his family, Pastor Timothy Bryan James established Monterey Church in 2006 and has since inspired many to surrender their lives to God, strengthen spiritual beliefs and engage with others through community service.

Source: Marketwire

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