Monday, October 17, 2005

Thougts on "Please no more doing church for them"

Ryan Bolger has started an excellent discussion on creating church services for "spiritual seekers." His premise is that we shouldn't because {my really rough paraphrase} :

  1. inevitably we will screw it up
  2. it defines following Christ as an hour a week
  3. it perpetuates an us and them mentality (both sacred vs secular and laity vs clergy)
  4. perpetuates a McDonald's form of spirituality (producer/consumer)
A couple of themes emerge from the comments:

  1. Total agreement with Ryan's points
  2. Why does a church service have to be either/or
This one, might be my favorite, as it hits very close to my suburban home:

What would it look like to be missional, that is, to apply your principles, in rural Wisconsin, (where IÂ’m from) or the average suburb? It might look more like what too many on the emerging church scene deride than they would like to imagine.
Posted by: David

I live in the cliche that is Trumbull, CT. A suburb, in the truest sense of the word. For the last 2-3 years I have struggled with totally resonating with the hopes, dreams and concerns of the emerging/missional church while living and ministering in the stereotypical context of the seeker church. As I wrestle with this paradox, I am drawn back to this thought from Ryan:

What Christians need to do is create meaningful worship through bringing their very own lives to God. Worship must reflect the culture of the community that is currently part of the church...Instead of mimicking other church cultures, the community collectively brings their own idiosyncratic ways of life to God, whatever they may be.
As I have contemplated this post, what excites me, what has eased my sense of struggle is, our little community is emerging in its own right. I think someone would be hard pressed to label Crossroads as seeker-sensitive or emerging or whatever. What that says to me is we truly are "reflecting the culture of our community," we are bringing our "indiosyncrasies," whether they be seeker-oriented or missionally-oriented, to God.

I am indeed grateful for this conversation and the ensuing mental gymnastics it inspired. Many thanks to Ryan and all who contributed.

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