Thursday, April 5, 2007

Away From Christendom

The conversations going on about underlying issues at Emerging Grace and The People Formerly Known as the Congregation is giving voice to so much of my concern with the existing Christendom forms of community and the possibilities of another way of intentional living together. Here’s just a small excerpt from “Emerging Grace”:

We are convinced that a church system which allows believers to fulfill their weekly spiritual obligation by listening to a sermon creates a consumerist audience who have not been encouraged to step into the responsibility of being a disciple and discipling others.

We are convicted that the millions of dollars spent on buildings for churches has not been wise stewardship of the resources that have been entrusted to church leaders.

We are convinced that becoming busy with programs within the church removes us from developing relationships with those who aren't involved in church. We no longer equate service in church programs with faithful commitment and service to God.

Incarnational living
We purpose to minister in the opportunities that our daily lives present, and we are intentional about involving ourselves in the lives of others in deeper ways than a Sunday service allows or requires.

Following the spirit
We are convicted that dependence on the Holy Spirit is required to move forward into becoming the people we were created to be. We are also convinced that the Holy Spirit is leading us away from the systems and structures that provide a comfortable complacency rather than the challenging mission we are called to.

How could one quarrel with any of it? It's right on target. It leaves me wondering: how do I find or join with others to build such a community in this part of Westchester? And, in my work as a pastor, how do the congregation I work with and I respond to such statements?

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