Total Church

In the middle of reading a really good book entitled Total Church.

What makes the book really interesting is that the authors are advocating for church models that combine a holistic, house church, community centered understanding of church, with strong theology.  Up to this point, house church and strong theology have gone together like an NFL wide receiver and humility.  Here is a quote from this book that pricked my conscience and has me thinking.

I was talking with a prominent evangelical church leader and asked him why more people are not open to a household model of church or to community groups meeting in homes.  The church leader was candid in his reply: ‘ Because people like me come from professional backgrounds, and we want churches that reflect our backgrounds.  I don’t want to be opening my home to people.  I don’t want to get involved in people’s lives.  I don’t want needy people in my church.  Before people like me went into Christian ministry, we were lawyers, doctors, businessmen.  And when we get involved in ministry we bring those values with us.  We want to lead growing churches with professional people, church administrators, healthy budgets.  We want church to be a well-run organization with polished presentations'”

Now I doubt many church leaders and pastors would be this forward in saying something like this, but the attitude is quite pervasive in many places.  It makes me wonder if we are really ready to count the cost that comes with being a messenger of the Gospel in our culture.



3 Responses

  1. Don’t think I didn’t catch your T.O. jab in there. “It’s obvious that the good Lord has blessed me with a lot of talent.”

  2. Jake you know me to well. T.O. was the exact WR I was thinking of.

  3. Having moved back to the Midwest Bible belt I am taken aback at the lack of Gospel oriented churches here. Even those that proclaim Christ as savior seem to proclaim it once a year at Easter and call it good. I was speaking with a pastor in my home town and asking him what was going on with there being no Men’s Ministry in his church. His response was that nobody wanted to step up and do it and that there were plenty of other Bible studies going on in the homes of the men from the congregation already. I asked him what they were teaching on and he had no idea…because “I haven’t been invited”. I about lost it. How can you lead a church and expect families to get it together when you are unwilling to address those that are placed as spiritual leaders of families? Bottom line—the underlying tone from this excerpt of your book is very much alive in the dying churches of the Bible belt. It is this cancerous heart condition that turns pastors into professors becoming more like strangers in their relationship with Jesus and all too familiar with study chairs securing Sunday morning. Your blog struck a passion string in me Ryan, thanks for keeping my alive out here.

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