The local Church
I found something on the blogosphere from a guy with a divergent theology to mine about the local church and I like it; it makes me think.
As I have got older, the more and more I have thought that large churches requiring high investment in people, buildings and money plus a congregation travelling have less and less to do with mission. Here is a guy who puts this better than me: particularly in relationship to children and the church-
‘I wonder how many churches people pass as they drive half an hour to church each Sunday. Some will be dead and ready for burial. But many will be good churches. They may not be as good as the church people attend. But they may be faithful and engaged in their locality. Why do people do this?
It reflects a consumer mentality. We shop for churches like we shop for groceries. If we don’t like the product then we take our business elsewhere. We end up at the big convenience store with the large parking lot and the local shops in Main Street that the old and the poor have to use wither and decline.
A particular instance of the consumer mentality, but a very common one is this. If church doesn’t have a big children’s programme then we find another church. Who’s going to say we shouldn’t out our children’s spiritual needs first? Me! A lot of Christians have made an idol of their families. So it becomes an excuse not to do mission or community. Look at what Jesus has to say about biological families. It is all negative! Really, it is. ‘Anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’ (Matthew 10:37). That’s what Jesus said. Get over it. And think about what moving church for children teaches our children. That the world revolves around them. That church is there to entertain them. That relationships with peers matter more than relationships with people who unlike them. At best you will teach you children to be church-attenders. You will have missed a big opportunity to teach them to be radical disciples and missionaries’.
Read the whole post at http://timchester.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/doing-everyday-church-when-your-community-is-spread/The commenter called ‘Graham’ may be related. Some of the commenters just don’t seem to get it. The force of consumerism is strong is us.