Leaving the Church to start…………….a Church.

I recently read an article by Kevin DeYoung at Ligonier Ministries.  In it he addresses the need for “fewer revolutionaries and more plodding visionaries.”  There seems to be an alarming trend of my generation that desire Christian community, but want to find such community outside of the church.  This manifests itself in an attitude of antagonism towards almost anything associated with the institutional church.  People want to leave the Church to get together with other Christians who love Jesus, want to be taught the Bible, and reach others with the gospel of Christ, and they want to do it all at the newest and hippest location without the restraints of the Church.  In the end, all they really want to do is………start another church.  (I always find the irony in that humorous)  We’ve always just called them denominations, but we seem to have replaced that with new words like: Emergent, Emerging, Seeker Sensitive, (or as in Andy Stanley’s so telling new video) Contemporvant..  Simply said: Christians were never meant to live outside of the community of faith called the Church.  Inside of this community they find accountability, exhortation, a layer of protection against heresy, and hundreds of other benefits that God specifically wove into the fabric of Christian community.

DeYoung’s article points out the unbiblical and immature view of people who are bored with the church and spend more time picking the Bride of Christ apart than connecting in meaningful and “ordinary” relationships.  He says, “It’s possible that our boredom has less to do with the church, its doctrines, or its poor leadership and more to do with our unwillingness to tolerate imperfection in others and our own coldness to the same old message about Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s possible we talk a lot about authentic community but we aren’t willing to live in it.”  DeYoung also makes a great point that much of our lives are “ordinary.”  We are not all going to be Paul’s and we’re going to have to be all right with that.  We were never called to be the next Paul anyway.  We were called to be like Jesus and this means that faithfulness to the Glory of God is the real standard of maturity.  Criticism is easy for those who never try themselves or have not had the test of time applied to their own endeavors.  This includes faithfulness in what many times appears to be the mundane and ordinary, and in the midst of that knowing and trusting that God uses even this to make us like Jesus.

Posted on June 16, 2010, in Culture, Ministry, Sanctification, Spiritual Formation, The Church, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. WenatcheeTheHatchet

    One of the ironies I continue to be amused by, having spent about ten years at Mars Hill, is that while people described the church as being different from other churches within a few years I concluded that there was a lot of reinventing the wheel going on that denominations had already tackled. Ironically after more than a decade of building up the church Driscoll and the other elders have basically created another Reformed Baptist denomination writ small. Now sure, this is something of an exaggeration for rhetorical effect since no one has to be a Calvinist to be a member of Mars Hill but simply in repudiating Calvin’s views of baptism as normative Mars Hill has been Baptist for years. One advantage of not bailing on older, established church traditions is that you’re less likely to reinvent wheels and have your church government system shift from a presbytery to an episcopate inside of a year.

    • I think a lot of movements are starting to figure out that even thought denominations (networks, associations, whatever) have their drawbacks, they bring a lot of advantages as well. I’m intrigued to see how many in the house church movement today are moving away from their rather isolationist roots and developing fairly robust networks.

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