Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Interesting title...

Daniel and I just finished reading an...interesting book. Written in the 90s, it confronts the possible dangers within the megachurch movement. Good old Os Guiness loves to make sure that people are thinking. Here's some quotes from the book.

Ever heard of plundering the Egyptians?
Far from leading to an exodus, modern church growth often uses the ideology and tools of Egypt to make the life of the people of God more comfortable in captivity. (Dining with the devil 1993, page 21)

What happened to the clear days of speaking the gospel clearly...do we depend too much nowadays on the idea that "people will see I'm a nice person and become a believer as a result?"

- Ponder the fact that the twentieth century was heralded as “the Christian Century,” summed up aptly at the beginning of the century in John R. Mott’s slogan—“the evangelization of the world in this generation.” Yet the century is ending, as Jacques Ellul says, in a situation closer to the saying of Jesus, “When the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” The problem is not that Christians have disappeared, but that Christian faith has become so deformed. (Dining with the devil 1993, page 81)

If you depend on numbers, watch out. Only God really knows the true numbers of church growth.

…a very large part of church-growth success in the west (as much as 80 percent in America, some say) is growth by transfer, not by conversion. As Jim Petersen of the Navigators says: “Increase of this sort isn’t church growth at all. It’s just a reshuffling of the same fifty- two cards.” (Dining with the devil 1993, page 49)

One last thought on the exaltation of numbers.

Even theologically conservative churches that self-consciously oppose secularism are nevertheless themselves often unwitting bastions of a secularized version of Christianity, and that, “The two most easily recognizable hallmarks of secularization in America are the exaltation of numbers and of technique.” (Dining with the devil p. 49, quoted in 9marks p. 24 )

It is always good to stay on our toes, and check and double check ourselves that we don't get distracted on the joyful journey of evangelism and church growth.

Det är kanske för svårt för mig att oversätta...vi har just läst en bok som jag tänkte mycket om och har uppmanat mig. Det prata om kyrka utveckling och problemarna och utmaningarna därinne. Fråga Daniel om du vill vet mer. Kram!

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