On October 3 I wrote a blog titled: “The Church: A Stumbling Block to Real Change.” In that blog I cited a friend who commented on the problem of changing culture while still through working and serving in a local church context. This blog generated a fairly wide response in private at the time. I had a most thoughtful response from another reader in October that I think is still worth reading and reflecting upon by a wider audience. (My friend prefers that he remain anonymous.)
I have to say that I agree with virtually everything my friend relates in these comments. I have long urged churches to not make their institutional well-being their goal. Far too many think that getting the eldership concept right, or rewriting the church constitution to fix their unique problems, or finding the right pattern of doctrinal ecclesiology and teaching it, will bring life and blessing to a local church. My experience tells me something very different about the nature of a healthy church. (This holds true in all contexts, regardless of the nature of the government; e.g, congregational, elder rule without congregational approval, truly presbyterial, or various forms of episcopacy.) I think my friend captured a good deal of this point quite well.
Here is his insightful response (italics are all mine):
What is almost tragic, and why it hurts so much for me (and why I’m writing) is that your writer friend has a sense that what he and his wife are doing is "from outside the confines of