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The Church in a Post-Christian World

Since I did my session on Post-Christian World, here are a few add'l external links from the last day in the blogosphere that relate:

What do our church buildings witness to? "Our church buildings witness to the immobility, inflexibility, lack of fellowship, pride and class divisions in today's church." According to "Radical Renewal: The Problem of Wineskins Today" (Howard A. Snyder), post at Mark Moore's blog.

The Center for Christian Leadership is pleased to announce an upcoming conference, Beyond the Church Doors: Developing a Missional Mindset within Your Congregation, on March 31 and April 1, 2008, featuring Dr. Ed Stetzer and Dr. Alan Roxburgh. If your church is developing creative and strategic ways of engaging in missional ministry, we would like to profile your activities in our conference materials.

Take the Missional Church Survey online >>

Many North American churches today are shifting away from an “attractional model” of ministry designed to draw people into the church building to a “missional model” which involves training and equipping whole congregations to act as missionaries in their local communities. We would like to know how your church is engaging in ministries of compassion and service in order to further the gospel and impact the culture. …

We are compiling a list of stories that will inspire others to creatively engage in missional practices. Please share one or two of your church’s activities that have impacted your community. (HT: djchuang)

Also check out Inc. Magazine's newest issue, Fun! It's the New Core Value to continue to see how the culture shift is changing institutions.  

4 Comments

  1. thanks for the plug… and good to see you in Minneapolis

  2. Hey Drew — it was good to see you at the CGA thing.

    I read the article on buildings and was going to post a reply to Mark Moore but was encouraged by the clarity of what had already been said I didn’t feel the need to pile on.

    It’s odd as an old timer how some in the emerging stream (maybe is was more Snyder) will speak so confidently and authoritatively on non-biblical issues like buildings as if there were clear biblical absolutes to be discovered and by which we can now judge each other as to what our buildigs bear witness too. Imagine the response if someone in the SBC posted five things that our tolerance of beer drinking bears witness to. I think it would be good if we reflected the liberty of conscience mandated by Romans and reflected in the Westminster Standards. I know the article I’m referencing was not your post but I found it here so I thought I’d share my thoughts with you dear brother. Buldings are just tools we don’t need them but sometimes they are a good thing to have, it just depends on the missional situation and the leading of God so there is nothing to which buildings bear witness in themselves. Sometimes they bear witness to human pride and inflexiblity and sometimes to a community of Chrsitians exercising faith and sacrifice.

    On a related theme I often read posts about the church in today’s world and want to recommend Richard Lovelace’s excellant book, Dynamics Of Spiritual Life, it is all great but in particular chapter 6 “the Renewal of the Local Congregation‚Äù is full of helpful insight. On page 209 He talks about the principle of the “conservation of structures”.

    He writes: “Lines of communication along which renewal can travel can easily be dismantled in any wholesale creation of new structures. A disolving of local congregations into house churches, independent communes or elite task forces would not only disrupt communication, it might create structures which donot by themselves have the power to carry the whole people of God forward throughout history with the same effectiveness as parish churches. The local congregation is like a whaling vessel. It is too large and unwieldy in itself to catch whales, so it must carry smaller vessels aboard for this purpose. But the smaller whaleboats are ill advised to strike out on their own apart from the mother ship. The can catch a few whales but they can not process them, and the smaller boats can easily be destroyed by storms.”

    It’s a great chapter in very good book. Thanks for all you do. It’s always a pleasure to see you or read your stuff.

    Larry

  3. D. Goodmanson

    July 31, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Larry,

    Wise words. As a church that is looking to find a building, I agree that they are a tool. For Emerging (or any other stream) people to speak authoritatively on methodological issues is hypocritical. It is only a matter of time before another group of people look at how we are doing church and condemn it as archaic. I see these as contextualization/missiological issues local congregations need to pray through. (My posting a link to Moore is not because I’m in agreement but to point out how views of ‘the church’ are shifting as culture changes. ) Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll need to pick that up. We often have a vision for change but proceed very slowly as we’ve grown so we do not ‘jerk everyone around’ with each new ministry philosophy.

    I enjoyed our time, particularly our lunch together and the amazing grace-centered testimony of the ex-stripper.

    Drew

  4. Drew,

    Great article on church buildings – I was in Caracas last year and the churches were in complete need of repair.

    One hour away in Fort Lauderdale, FL, one church raised $100 million to make even bigger buildings on its campus.

    Unbelievable.

    BTW, you should check out Stephen Baldwin’s new film. It talks a lot about where we are today: http://www.buyTHEGENIUSCLUB.com

    take care.

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