I’ve been writing lately about what I see as the problem with the liberal/mainline/progressive church. I’ve talked about Liberal Vs. Progressive, why we’re not growing, and said that I think Mark Driscoll is right. Then I shifted a bit and raised the question “Why Christianity?” and offered my reasons as to “Why I Am A Christian.”. My next question was about a “Salvation Moment” and my answer. Last week I asked What does a Christian Look Like? and gave my answer. I want to continue in that vein of raising a question and then offering my answer on a variety of different topics. I’m not trying to provide definitive answers, but rather to raise what I see as the provocative and/or essential questions that the church needs to be able to have answer for (even if that answer is to say that this isn’t an idea we need).
If we agree that Christianity is something worthwhile, if we believe that someone can and should make a decision to follow in the way of Jesus, that there are certain behaviours that a Christian should have, then how do we pass that on to other people (whether to our children and youth or to adult converts)?
What does it look like when someone converts as an adult? How are they given information about Christianity? How are they mentored in their walking in the way of Jesus?
In a lot of the comments in previous posts ideas of “faith formation” kept coming up. What does that mean and what does it look like?
And if we agree that the Christian life is lived in community, then is there a need for accountability? What does that mean? What does that look like? Can we have accountability in a way that isn’t guilt and shame inducing? What are the things that would need to be included in a discussion of being held accountable?
To me this is a vital question. It is one that is the difference between a growing and changing church and a stagnant one. It is the difference between kids and youth that drop out of the church after high school and ones that stick around. How we answer these questions will make a huge difference to the life and future of the church.
I’ll offer more thoughts on this tomorrow, but I would love to know what you think about all of this.