i’ve written a great deal in this space about trends in the church (from my stilted, american perspective). i’ve read thom rainer and reggie mcneal and george barna and alan hirsch. our best effort at church (called “the contemporary church growth model” and “the attractional church model” ) is obviously not the answer. the chasm between church and culture is wide and growing wider every day. it has become clear (to me, anyway) that “church as we know it” is not “church as it shall be.” if we’re going to impact society, we’ve got to learn to think in radically different ways.
in a recent post, out of ur quoted several influential leaders (and while the quotes speak for themselves, the editors added some hilarious comments…i will include them where appropriate). in case you missed it, i’ll share a few here.
“I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with the church growth principles we’ve developed . . . yet somehow they don’t seem to work.” – C. Peter Wagner, a leading spokesmen for the church-growth movement.
“For evangelicals, if children and youth are not enjoying church, it is the church’s fault and evangelical parents either find a new church or try to improve their youth ministry. For liberals, the tendency is the reverse; if youth do not find church interesting, it is their problem.” -James Wellman, author of Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest
(A good reminder that the call of the Christian life is to enjoy church. –Url Scaramanga)
“There certainly is a dominant demographic faith profile of Christians in the nation. The typical profile of an involved Christian is a married woman in her early fifties.” – David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group
(Perfect if our mission is to make disciples of Martha Stewart. –Url Scaramanga)
“In a recent survey of 1,000 church attenders, respondents were asked, ‘Why does the church exist?’ According to 89 percent, the church’s purpose was ‘to take care of my family’s and my spiritual needs.’ Only 11 percent said the purpose of the church is ‘to win the world for Jesus Christ.’” – Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.
(Alrighty then. Good night, folks. Would the last person to leave the church in America please turn off the lights? –Url Scaramanga.)
the next manifestation of church will look nothing like church of today. and, if we have the courage to pursue it, will be exceptionally costly (in every sense of the word) and will probably make us intensely uncomfortable.
is that okay with us?