Thursday, March 22, 2012
Hiding at Church
Even so, the list comes packaged online with advice from experts such as a piece by sociologist Scott Thumma of the Hartford Institute of Religion Research at Hartford Seminary, who offers 10 lessons to learn from megachurches with their high-profile pastors. No. 4 on that list seemed to sum up several points:Think about this, "Most visitors want to slip in anonymously and experience worship in a user-friendly manner." Is that really what church should be about? Anonymity? No personal connection?
Make it appealing, then make it challenging. Most visitors want to slip in anonymously and experience worship in a user-friendly manner. But don't leave newcomers at the "spectator stage." Christianity is about maturing in the faith. The goal of pastors and teachers is to help the body of Christ "become mature." Many megachurches provide intentional paths for new persons to move into deeper levels of the faith.
That may be a "seeker" thing - but a "disciple" thing, I think not. I keep coming back to the fact that the church makes disciples and disciples bring in seekers. If we build the church around drawing in seekers, we never seem to get tot he making disciples part.
I am also forced to reflect on the fact that based on the conversation Jesus had with the Woman at the Well - no one was anonymous in Christ's presence. Part of Christ's winsomeness was the fact that He KNEW you when you were in His presence, in that comfortable, welcoming sense.
That's what I think we ought to be striving for.