As we journey through our Summer Book Discussion, each week I’d like to share a few quotes from The Present Future, by Reggie McNeal, along with some questions to stir up some conversation.
Speaking of trying to “do church better,” Reggie writes:
All this activity anesthetizes the pain of loss. It offers a way to stay busy and preoccupied with methodological pursuits while not faces the hard trust: none of this seems to be making much of a difference. Church activity is a poor substitute for genuine spiritual vitality.
How have you substituted church activity for genuine spiritual vitality?
Have you grieved this loss?
You can build the perfect church—and they still won’t come… Church leaders seem unable to grasp this simple implication of the new world—people outside the church think church is for church people, not for them.
If doing church better is not a worthy end goal, what might be worth our effort and attention?
The correct response, then, to the collapse of the church culture is not to try to become better at doing church. This only feeds the problem and hastens the church’s decline through its disconnect from the larger culture. The need is not for a methodological fix. The need is for a missional fix. The appropriate response to the emerging world is a rebooting of the mission, a radical obedience to an ancient command, a loss of self rather than self-preoccupation, concern about service and sacrifice rather than concern about style.
What might God be calling you to today?
What can you let go of and what can you embrace?