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. Then I asked What does a Christian Look Like? and gave my answer. I asked about Discipleship and Accountability and then gave my answer. Then I asked Why do we have church? And who should the church be for?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).
This week we continue the conversation about the church. I want to start getting down into a bit more of the nitty gritty and ask: What could the church look like? Let’s start to hash it out. Should the church be any of the current buzzwords? Missional or Attractional? Traditional or Emergent? Contemporary? Or should the church transcend such categories and labels?
Realizing that lots of things about the church are contextual, are there certain things that carry across traditions and styles? Are there certain elements or programs that a church must have?
How should the church be using its money? Should churches be committed to starting new communities? Should churches be a certain size? Is there such a thing as a “too small” or “too large” church?
Does it matter what kind of form the leadership of the church takes? Pastoral team? Solo pastor? No pastor at all?
I’m asking these questions because I think they tell us a lot about what we think the church is about and who it’s for. I think we all have our preferences around style and structure, but I also think there are certain forms of church that maybe aren’t working as well (or at all). As we look to the future of the church these questions become guiding principles to help us think through the issues we face.
Are there any questions here that really resonate with you? If you could dream up a church to attend (or to serve) what would that church look like?