When I thought and wrote about my issues with seminary there was one critique that led me into a much larger topic that I thought was bettered addressed on its own. In thinking about how we (Western Christians, especially in America) train our future leaders I began to think about how we hire and staff our Churches and how Churches are run in general which brought me to a huge issue.
I have come to believe that how we have far too often conformed to the pattern of this world in how we approach and run local churches. The Church is often run like any other secular organization. The status quo of our communities mirrors culture and often no alternatives are sought and no scriptural critique is offered. This situation hurts us and our witness in this world and unexamined and unaddressed I believe it will continue to do so.
Instead of being an agent a transformation, the Church in the West has a long history of conforming to the pattern of this world. As a result our values, our worship songs, our theology, our approach to leadership, our organizing and running day to day operations of the Church and many areas of our communal life seem more in line with the dominant culture around us than something authentically different. In the extremes Churches become little more than social clubs for generally speaking moral and ethical Americans that meet on Sundays. This is a far cry from a faithful expression of the body of Christ.
This is an issue with many sides and I cannot address every aspect of it and it is one filled with shades of gray. I fully acknowledge there are nuances that I cannot do service to in a blog and obviously not every Church is in the extremes. However, this has been my experience of Church and a pervasive one across the Churches I have been a part of.
I would like to explore this belief in by examining three different issues in three different blogs: how we train our leaders, how we hire and staff our churches, and how we run our finances.
I’ll begin where I started and want to point out some tensions in how we have chosen to train our leaders in my next post.