Friday, August 20, 2010



Out of UR briefly interviews Dallas Willard on metrics of church success. There is some stuff I agree with and some I disagree with. Says Willard:
And finally, we need the right tools to measure spiritual formation. There are some good tools available like Randy Frazee's Christian Life Profile and, which John Ortberg likes.
I think the idea of a "tool" to measure spiritual formation is somehow just wrong - any tool will tend towards mass production, and one of the big points of spiritual formation is that it is highly individualistic.

I think the biggest problem facing real spiritual formation in the church is that it is an apprenticeship program and we want to run churches like a diploma factory.

What Willard does get right it this:

What can pastors do to change this dynamic?

Change their definition of success. They need to have a vision of success rooted in spiritual terms, determined by the vitality of a pastor's own spiritual life and his capacity to pass that on to others.

The church will start to change when the leadership changes. A pastor with a vital spiritual life will will apprentice someone in the church, and so on, and so on, and so on.

If I were setting out to truly change the church in this fashion, I would do it one person at a time. - forget "tools."

Name a profession, and you will find that education does not equal professionalism - that can only be gained with time and experience. Pros know pros - and pros know when rookies become pros. It is not measured, it just is.

I have taken up woodworking as a weekend distraction. I recently made an arts&crafts end table for a couple as a wedding gift. They profess to love it. I have pointed out to them every rookie mistake I made on it. Until I pointed it out, they had not seen it. My response was "a real woodworker will see this thing coming a mile away."

That's what being a Christian is like.

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