Future Church

Posted: January 22, 2007 in Everything

One of the books I picked up over the holidays was Erwin McManus’ An Unstoppable Force. Here’s a excerpt that I think is particularly good. It reminds me of what the church — and particularly pastors — are supposed to be up to. In particular, it is a call for existing churches to not rest on its laurels or traditions.

“It may seem inconceivable, but not long ago the job of church growth consultant did not exist. In fact, church growth seminars and dying churches were virtually unheard of. Although most churches were essentially in plateau, there was a sense of the church as a place of permanence and stability. You just hung your sign outside, and the appropriate parishioners found their way there. The primary role of the pastor was caretaker/teacher, and many times even the role of evangelist was left to someone who came from out of town.

“One could almost predict the development of the Master of Divinity degree as the religious equivalent to the M.B.A. Seminaries began to produce what local churches perceived they needed; godly men who had a professional understanding of theology, pastoral care, and management. Pastors were valued for their ability to bring and keep order rather than for their ability to bring and lead change. The reality was that pastors were being equipped to preserve the past rather than create the future. We became known for being traditional rather than transformational. The ritual replaced the radical.”

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Comments
  1. ClayMan says:

    This is what really irritates me about churches today. I believe people who have truly experienced the love and Healing Power of Jesus Christ are blocked from ever telling their story to a congregation because “Only professionals may take the pulpit”. I can say this, because it’s happened to me.

    I learned long ago that there’s a huge difference between book-smarts and street-smarts. To me, twenty years ago, that meant the difference between a wet-behind-the-ears geek who didn’t know Fortran from Fort Hood. Today, it means the difference between someone who’s read and knows all the right scripture about God’s love, and someone who’s experienced it first-hand.

    “That’s how it is with God’s love! Once you’ve experienced it. You want to sing, it’s fresh like spring, you want to pass it on.”

    You’re no longer counting how many dunks you have under your belt, you’re now counting on the Lord to reveal His will to you so you may do what He wants you to do.

    Praise God for people such as yourself who are willing to stand up to the “theological establishment” and say what needs to be said.

  2. cbradford says:

    I appreciate the quote. As an older guy in a formerly traditional church that is now transformationally oriented( I hope!), I long to see traditional churches become transformational not just contemporary in methodology. Many of my friends equate transformational with contemporary music only and miss the whole point of structuring for life change.
    Thx for sharing.

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