Missional Angst and Western Church Norms

We need to be willing to do church differently than we may feel is comfortable and easy.

Consumer-driven forms of Christianity are creating much angst.

The prevailing model of how we do church in our Western context has been called into question, and many are proposing alternative expressions of church life.

Sharing much of that angst, I have been writing and speaking to challenge consumerism in the church. Others feel similarly, but are responding in different ways. However, certain patterns emerge from these responses.

For the sake of conversation, I’ll divide the response in the evangelical world into three groups: the radicals, the conservatives, and the critics. Granted, overlap exists, but maybe this will help us consider how people are dealing with the issue and how we might reply.

Let me add that I’m focusing on leaders here, but the same realities are true for all parts of such churches.

As I see it, whether you are solidly within the prevailing church model or have abandoned that model for a more organic ministry approach, the other view is not your enemy, or even your competitor. The way forward is a cooperative effort with each group working according to conviction and faithfully engaging the people within the …read more

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