in a post a couple of weeks ago, i referenced a quote from an interview with reggie mcneal and i have been ruminating on it ever since. it seems to me like there is something significant here, perhaps just beneath the surface, and i thought it might be beneficial (and maybe even entertaining) to bring it to you, my blogosphere buddies, for dialogue. here is the quote (from an article entitled “engaging the church in god’s redemptive mission”; enrichment journal volume fifteen, number one):
I am not saying the gathered church is irrelevant or should not happen. But we have made the gathering the point. The gathering was not supposed to be the point. The gathering was supposed to celebrate how God was showing up in our lives away from church.
Instead, we have shrink-wrapped our notion of what God is doing in the world by assessing the health of the gathering. Did the worship go well? How many showed up? Did the choir get their stuff done? Did the band do well? Was the PowerPoint good? Was the sermon good? We act as if these things have an impact on the health of the Kingdom and God’s activity in the world.
We have done this for so long it feels normal.
i have two questions (and then we’ll let the conversation go wherever it wants to go)…
1. what is mcneal trying to communicate?
2. if “the gathering” is not the point, what is?
on your mark, get set, go!