Monday, 31 March 2008

Church is all about community.

There is a movement that is a bit of a buzz word / term within Sydney Anglican circles at the moment regarding the intent of a book called Total Church. Michael Jensen blogged about it here and wrote a more detailed article about it here.

There has been a bit of blogging about community and what it means to be the church that truly engages with the community. Such as the discussion on Sydney Anglicans about connecting with the community and Byron Smith here and here.

I posted on the subject of the church I see here as well.

The book was written by a pastor of the Crowded House Church who have radicalized the way they do church and engage with the community at large. I see a resemblance to this movement to that of the philosophy of the emergent church movement in that it started from a dissatisfaction with the status quo as far as the established church goes.

Yet they have done it in a way that has reformed the way they function without distorting the Gospel Message or diluting the word of God, which tends to be the way that a lot of the emergent culture has or is heading.

Research has shown that there is a high burnout rate in church goers within 4 - 7 years of joining a church. Where after that a high percentage of those take a backwards step in regards to church involvement and some to such a degree that they are considered to have backslidden.

I am wondering if this movement could be a answer to the problem of burnout of both pastor and congregation? Where people are released to be part of the answer in their already established community, bringing about the Gospel and Gods kingdom into that community.

It begs the question for us to re-look at what church really is and what it is not and to be honest with our selves whether we are ready for, or even want this type of communitive relationship with both each other and the lost?

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