Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Institutions: the Church's Cutting Edge

If you've got a little time, check out Chris Yaw's fascinating interview with Jorge Acevedo on multi-campus churches.  If you don't have as much time, click the same link and just read the synopsis.  Two big thoughts come out of this for me:

1) The content itself is good, and worth digesting.

2) The interview is an example of 1 of 2 trends shaping the form of mainline evangelical churches today: a move toward institutionalization.  Or as one clergy friend said when I shared the story, "They're making old-school dioceses."

Incidentally, the other half of the trend is a move toward the ancient rhythms of the liturgy.  Both trends are interesting, and essential, I think, for Episcopalians to consider.  Vibrant, growing churches are availing themselves of aspects of the Christian tradition that have long been central to Episcopal life and worship.

With so many Episcopalians feeling the need to apologize for the institution and liturgy, what would it mean in our current contexts to play to our strengths?  How can these aspects of the Episcopal character be re-imagined to bring out the best of these strengths for God's Church?

1 comment:

  1. I think that this is scary. In my opinion that's what the Episcopal Church,
    the Methodist, the non denoms, the nba the, nfl, our schools, are suffering from today. There's a point at which the institution takes the place of God.
    The reason I throw institutions like the nba and nfl is because it all started as a game to play. Now since it is an institution it's all about keeping the institution alive and not about playing the game. Church has become that for many of us, it's all about keeping the church going and not necessarily about God.

    I'll leave this quote that sums it up,

    "Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put the church work above concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world.'"

    M. Scott Boren. Missional Small Groups: Becoming a Community That Makes a Difference in the World


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