I'm at a point in my life where that bothers me greatly. The institutional church isn't getting it done. Most frustrating for me is that I'm such a product of it (the aforementioned "institutional church"), that its all I know. But equally if not more frustrating are those of us, myself included, who are products of this framework, who just don't get it. The "It's all about me and my needs" stuff that goes on is mind boggling. I long for and pray for the day when we spend more time talking about how to connect people to God, and zero time discussing who' s mad because we didn't sing the appropriate number of hymns this week, etc. A couple of Brian McLaren quotes from a seminar last week...some related, some not...
- We need more churches to be planted. Church planting in relation to national growth has declined every decade since the civil war.
- Evangelizing the non-Christian in our post-Christian culture is similar to being a missionary in Asia or Africa.
- Evangelism won't work unless people can meet a Christian who has a better life - a more meaningful life. Non-Christians aren't looking for better programs, yet most churches spend most of their time and resources and energy on nothing but that.
If you haven't read McLaren, do. Prepare to be a little disturbed, confused, even mad. But be prepared to think a little, too.
I've heard that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But what if its broke??