Tuesday, July 24, 2007

They Like Jesus But Not The Church


Dan Kimball (2007), They Like Jesus But Not The Church: Insights from Emerging Generations (Grand rapids, MI: Zondervan)

With a provocative title like that, Dan Kimball, pastor at Vintage Faith Church In Santa Cruz, California, went on to describe the feelings of those persons he has interviewed in the ‘emerging generations.’

What emerging generations think about the church

1. the church is an organized religion with a political agenda
2. the church is judgmental and negative
3. the church is dominated by males and oppresses females
4. the church is homophobic
5. the church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong
6. the church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally

What they wish the church were like

1. I wish the church were not just a sermon or a lecture but a discussion
2. I wish the church would respect my intelligence
3. I wish the church weren’t about the church building
4. I wish the church were less programmed and allowed time to think and pray
5. I wish the church were a loving place
6. I wished the church cared for the poor and for the environment
7. I wish the church taught more about Jesus

I felt a deep sadness when I finished reading the book. What were said are so true of our churches, even here in Asia.
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7 Comments:

Blogger pearlie said...

hmmm ...

2:35 PM  
Blogger Jack Said said...

I don't mean to be sarcastic, of course there are great great deal the Church gotta buck up. But we've all seen how the below good wish list can go awfully wrong:

1. I wish the church were not just a sermon or a lecture but a discussion (which go on and on and on and may end up a straining the gnat exercise)
2. I wish the church would respect my intelligence (which I THOUGHT I have)
3. I wish the church weren’t about the church building (very true...)
4. I wish the church were less programmed and allowed time to think and pray (thinking and praying are like leadership, sometimes, we ask for more than we can swallow. I am all for thinking, but most of the time, the same folks who demand thinking will be the first to complain when the thinking gets too "difficult" and most of the folk who talk about prayer, will want some other "more exciting stuff" in time)
5. I wish the church were a loving place (if everywhere I go, i found ppl to be uncaring, i might as well begin to self-examine..i mean, yeah the church can be a bloody cold plc, but the problem may as well lies in me)
6. I wished the church cared for the poor and for the environment (I wished too, though many times i do it when it's convenient to me, and sometimes, that's probably what we meant. i'll do this and that, coz it's a fad and when it's not too troublesome. Take care of a bunch of cry babies who had histories of sexual abuses...wow..that's too much)
7. I wish the church taught more about Jesus (if she does, we'll all have to read Tom Wright's 3 fat volume which at the end of the day may not be so palatable and the critic will say, i wish the church don't dwell on intellect - whatever that means and however that can relate to the thinking wish list - too much than on just loving Jesus - whatever that means)

*shrug

I love the Church, seriously.

Jack

11:19 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi jack said,

Thank you for your interesting and thoughtful comments. Your comments reveal much about yourself and your attitude towards the church.

As wish-list goes, this is a good list and it was complied by interviews from many people. It is my hope and prayer ( and your too, I think) that it become something more than as wish-list. That is becomes a desiderata for the church.

blessings

4:06 PM  
Anonymous blogpastor said...

7. I wish the church taught more about Jesus

YES! YES! YES!

6:38 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi blogpastor,

I find the wishlist very telling about what is deficient in our churches. I do not know if you agree or not.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous blogpastor said...

I think it is a cry for the kind of basic Christian community experienced in the infant church that met in the house: small, interactive, participative, authentic, warm and loving, with low overheads so that more money is used for the poor.

The cell groups should be a possible expression of that but we have become quite too program-based rather than relationship-oriented, even in our cell groups. what is your take?

4:51 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

I do agree with you that the home cell groups are more representative of the early church. Unfortunately I also have to agree you that cell groups are being too programmed.

There are certain groups that have a certain order of meeting like the church, with time limit specified and leaders guides provided.

I wonder when will the professional release the authority to the local cell group leaders to lead, and the local cell groups leaders willing to take up responsibility in spite of not having theological training (favourite excuse). I do not believe any in the early church has theological training but I believe they did well under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.

After all, Christianity spread to all the known world even under persecution.

12:10 AM  

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