Thursday, August 27, 2009
After McDonaldization: Mission, Ministry, and Christian Discipleship in an Age of Uncertainty, by John Drane.
John Drane's acclaimed "The McDonaldization of the Church" identified the catastrophic trend of Western churches offering uninventive, pre-packaged worship to dwindling congregations. Since its publication, church attendance has continued to decline even though increasing numbers of people are searching for spiritual integrity and turning to "spirituality."
In "After McDonaldization," Drane argues that the continuing impact of globalization and consumerism has been joined by a post-9/11 culture of fear and a search for truth. He asks what it means to be Christian in a post-Christendom context. Where are today's mission opportunities, the places where God is at work? In our fragmented society, how should Christian community be shaped? And what values might inspire the leaders of the twenty-first century?
As he addresses key questions for Western Christianity in a global context, Drane presents a case for a more practical theology, a reinvigorated style of ministry, and a restatement of classic Christian beliefs for the twenty-first century. "To continue as we are may be comfortable, but could also be institutionally suicidal," writes Drane. "Our options are simple. We either do nothing, and the decline continues, or we ask fundamental questions and take whatever steps may be necessary to re-imagine church life."