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2 Responses to “Got a Plan?”

  1. Tom Nesler says:

    I will be interested in hearing what your ideas are for this problem. I see this movement as a result of young people who were brought up in the church, becoming independent and realizing that they do not die if they miss a church service. Services which do not challenge people’s faith and seek to solve problems people face are a waste of time and we who continue to go to church often accept poor sermons and services because we see our friends there and would miss the weekly coffee klatch.

  2. Kathrine Gathro says:

    I am grateful that you are tackling this reality with your morning together. For the last generation, the church has been trying to offer “new wine but in the same old wineskins”. No, it doesn’t work, and I believe that looking at this group as a tribe in itself and how to get the tribe back into the fold is a huge mistake from the get-go. In my thinking as I read the scriptures, the problem is that we as followers of Jesus still think in and operate in very old wineskins: our presuppositions and experience of “church” starts with two very faulty and unexamined assumptions–the first being that people still think “we go to church”, instead of “we ARE the Church”; and the other is “if we build it, (or, offer it, etc.), they will come”. Neither of these reflects a Biblical way of living in the world. Christ followers are his body, immersed in God’s world which he has charged us with stewarding. The secular/sacred dualism is still very much alive and well in the Church. What if we saw our mission as living in the world as Jesus people who want to reach out with the love of Jesus, right in our immediate neighborhood, our workplace, our recreational places, etc., etc. (to all ages)? In other words, think outside the program and building box, to just be yourself where God has placed you, in the world, sharing the message of Jesus as you go about your everyday life. We are all in a very real sense “missionaries”, and we are to be in the world as worldly Christians. But, again, another totally unexamined concept of church life is the concept of “missions”. It’s so ridiculous and again in a very old wineskin. Oh, and that subject leads us right into another unexamined area–money and wealth management. When the Body of Christ gathers, the purpose is to encourage discipleship to kingdom thinking as we follow our King Jesus, yet the current Church expression does so little of that. The business model and professionalization of church, often with so much patriarchy and hierarchy have led to the opposite of kingdom thinking and living, and the 80/20 rule where 80% are watching 20% do all the work is played out every week. We must rethink the wineskin totally. Do we really believe we ARE the Church and can we get outside our sacrosanct, totally unexamined presuppositions to offer the world a real relationship with the risen Christ? This is so much more than reaching Millenniels. Their leaving in droves is just them being more honest than my Baby-boomer generation was. Their reality is so much more integrated than my generation, and the Christian Cruise Ship mentality is not only boring but has led to a lot of cultural irrelevance and misrepresentations of the gospel, and it is the Millennials who have led the way on waking up the Church.

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