“i like jesus, not the church”

7 03 2007

just gave a quick scan through on an article in the latest edition of outreach magazine – the article’s title “i like jesus” (not the church) – the article’s writer is dan kimball – dan’s been a voice in the emerging church scene for quite a while – having written a book called, the emerging church.

i’ll be honest, the article’s title was a bit of a challenge for me theologically since the church is considered the Body of Christ – wondering, does dan not like the Body of Christ – the Bride of Christ for whom Christ died for (of which dan and i and millions of others are a part of)?

i was asked about 2 years ago to serve on a “reader advisory board” for outreach magazine – something i’m happy to do and invest a little time in. basically, i get the opportunity to provide some honest and sometimes brutal feedback for the magazine from a pastor’s and leader’s perspective. there’s no compensation, only the chance to provide input. it takes just a little bit of time to do – basically answer emails and evaluate content as well as provide content suggestions.

so, this month’s article was intriguing and pushing the envelope for me – needless to say, at first glance (and this was seriously a first thought, but not one i pondered long), i was ready to fire off an email and tell them they had lost their minds…until…i realized the article‘s title reflected the sentiments of the 20- and 30- something generations (of which I’m still barely a part of!). then i remembered something that craig groeschell’s blog had just posted! here’s the link and below are the 5 key questions that we as leaders need to dig into (these are craig’s questions):

  • What do you think God wants to do through our church that I’m not seeing?
  • What are we doing that stopped working two years ago?
  • What should we be doing to reach people that we’re not?
  • Where have I lost effectiveness but those closest to me are afraid to tell me? (rick’s note: this question and the next are the most challenging to digest, but will produce the greatest change in a leader)
  • What vision do you have about ministry that no one will listen to?

if we as leader’s are going to reach this generation, then their voice has to be heard and we have to listen.

if you were to gather 5 or 6 20-30 something believers together, this is what dan says you’d hear:

1) The Church is an organized religion with a political agenda.

2) The Church is judgmental and negative.

3) The Church is dominated by males and oppresses females.

4) The Church is homophobic.

5) The Church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong.

6) The Church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.

so, then, are we listening?
do we hear their voices?
do we hear their concerns?
do we care?
are we listening?
will we step outside of our “strange Christian bubble”? (quote from dan’ article)
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