With a nod to Sivin Kit, take a gander at this Charisma article, “When Christians Quit Church”. Once you get past the annoying alliteration (“stayaway saints”, oh, please) and the endless stream of quotes from people who notice but don’t quite get it and a point or two which just don’t sit right, there comes a few more interesting parts. Apparently now we’re called post-congregationals, which is good because I had been feeling all day like I was still one label short.
“Research he conducted for one large church ‘was clear that the more the church expected, the more people were likely to attend. The less that was expected, the less they were likely to go.'” This is followed with a reference to Rick Warren, with the implication that if you can keep people purpose-filled and busy, they’ll stick around. Aughckphhht! Mindless busy-ness is why many are leaving. Okay, charismatics, repeat after me, “Rick Warren cannot save my church!”
“‘The church is to be a school where people are educated, and if the Word is rightly being divided and presented in a biblical way, with challenges that lead to transformed lives … if people aren’t in church they will miss that,’ he suggests.” …this made me think about those who engage in disecting the Word, making it a weapon for legalists. In this quote we find the notion that without professionals teaching the Bible, lives won’t be transformed. Hogwash.
Then again, you find things like “Bob and his wife, Kelly, say they realized after years of children’s ministry involvement in a 5,000-plus-member charismatic church that they never truly felt a sense of community or belonging. Finding a small, informal house church, they ‘went from being lonely and burned out to feeling community, passion, authenticity and best of all like we were again learning more about the gospel.'” …so it’s not all bad, but it feels a bit wierd to be taking encouragement from the bits of an article that are held up in a cautionary sense, and feel critical about the bits which express concern on the other side of things.