while i was on vacation, i read “the ancient ways” by alan hirsch. i would love to share it with you, my dear readers, but i just can’t. my brain still aches.
but i’m currently enjoying “missional renaissance” by reggie mcneal and it is a little less dense. refreshing, actually. still, mcneal makes a few statements about the church that might be considered provocative (to put it mildly) by some. for example…
Though this seems a crass way to put it, I think an apt description of the program church is “a vendor of religious goods and services.” Members and participants expect the church to provide a range of services, from favorite music and fellowship options to sports leagues and travel opportunities. In this view, other churches actually become competitors in the religious market place for the energy, money, and affiliation of people they can attract and keep satisfied through the services they offer.
The church must be willing to get out of the church business, and get over the delusion that the “success” of the church impresses the world. It does not. It only impresses church people. while making others even more skeptical of the church’s true m0tives…The way forward for churches that want to redefine their position in the community will be through service and sacrifice.
This missional understanding of Christianity is undoing Chrisitianity as a religion…The choices you and others make will influence the expression of the church for generations to come. Many will choose to hunker down and wait for the storm to blow over. It won’t.
so, what do you think? are you provoked?