Here is a quote from a gifted writer Cindy Bryan.
“..we also need to get the heck out of the church building and live lives that show we care about somebody in addition to the people we worship with. we must address this corporate addiction to church that we ourselves have created. call it a church intervention, maybe. and if we succeed, the withdrawals will be ugly, angry, and very messy. If we don’t succeed, thousands of local churches just like ours will be gone in 20 years or less. I’m not even sure if that isn’t what should happen.”
“Offended or not, the institutional church has some decisions to make (not an exhaustive list, just on quickly thinking it through):
1-Either acknowledge the exodus or don’t.
2-If it is acknowledged, choose to care or not.
3-If the choice is made to care, then decide whether to vilify or love those who are leaving.
4-Finally, if the choice is made to love them, to reach out and do so tangibly–without malice.
The Institutional Church is under no mandate to care about those who are leaving. But they are leaving, and railing about their selfishness, shallowness, arrogance, etc. isn’t going to convince them to come back anymore than going into a crack house and screaming that everybody is going to hell is going to get them into church on Sunday.
The people I know who have left the church, and I talked on the phone with one such person at length last night, are much more concerned about their departure than their critics give them credit for. They aren’t whiners and takers. They are givers and servers and lovers of God who are heartbroken they can’t find a place.”
We have no choice as to whether change will happen. We do have a choice as to whether we become architects of the change. Church plants are closing as quickly as new ones pop up. It looks like 3 – 5 years is about the shelf life of most start ups. The biggest crash may be the recent Mars Hill movement. It is part of the Tsunami taking place. The mega church model may have peaked and will tumble rather quickly.
There are other options that work which break the mold of how believers can create biblical transformational communities without the limitations that exist in the Institutional Church model. I will talk more about it in a future post.