It feels like I’ve been doing “Sacred Cow Week” around here lately. I’ve had some reimagining on the brain lately, I guess. I’ve got a good one scheduled for tomorrow when we’ll revisit the subject of leadership, but what we’ve been talking about here is a lot of re-imagining some of the fundamental ways we conceive of church, how we practice it, and what it should look like structurally, procedurally, and practically.
Along these lines, Brad Hightower is asking, Are the Popular Methods of Doing Church Working? Normally the problem with this question would be the definition of “working” (aka, how do you define success?) but Brad puts forward some good thoughts here, and I think his definition of success is somewhat apparent in his post.
Whether we go to traditional church or not, we all agree that the Gospel is intended to bring life transformation. The question I wish to address in this post is whether the current popular methods of doing church are working. Here is my thesis:
The church growth method of serving up spectacular church services with great professional music and slick lean sermons has only served to produce spectator Christians whose only understanding of mission is to bring people to the spectacle.
Though no one puts it so bluntly, this method of professionalism is what most every church in America is trying to do. We try to draw people to church by having a well crafted church service. It is the craft of the service that is to create an inspirational moment for the observer and bring them back next week. There are endless reasons why this approach to church is just plain wrong.