Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fourth post from Bradley Wright

Bradley Wright's been posting on the subject of why people leave church, and for some reason I managed to miss noting the fourth post in this series.   (Fourth and last, by the looks of it.)

In this one he discusses the relative unimportance of non-Christians' influence in regard to a Christian leaving church.  Very occasionally the influence of a non-Christian will cause a Christian to leave the church and/or faith.   But it's by no means as frequent an occurrence as you might think.  

It's a somewhat different story after the Christian has left the church.   Then there is a stronger tendency for non-Christians to support those who left.  

Which seems reasonable enough.

Don’t Be an Ekklesaphobe

David Fitch in full flight on getting a proper balance between what's wrong with the church...and what's right with it....

It happens on facebook when I give the slightest indication the church is God’s instrument in the world. It happens frequently when I am speaking and assert that God has empowered the church to extend Christ’s presence in the world. It happens when I coach church planters that are missionally oriented and ask them when they gather for worship. It happens when I engage my missional friends on one of the variants of the formula “missiology precedes ecclesiology.” It happens each time I meet someone who has been abused by the traditional church. Each time there is a out-sized reaction against organizing people into practices traditionally associated with being the church (this is especially true of the public worship gathering, or the ordination of clergy).

See the rest of his blog post here

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Vocations and leavers

Two more items in the occasional posts to this blog...

Jason Goroncy alerted me to a post by Michael Jinkins that asks the question; “What sustains you in your vocation?”

Jinkins begins by noting: 
John Calvin believed that it is the vocation itself, the fact of having been called by God which sustains us. That’s a great response, and I’m sure it is true. But, in the day-to-day slog and grind of living our vocations, beyond the assurance that we are where God called us (which is no small thing!), are there other things that sustain us? Prayer, regular Bible study, worship, the practice of Sabbath?  [I'm currently reading, at long last, Eugene Peterson's Working the Angles - it relates strongly to this question.]

The second item is the third post by Bradley Wright and his research team on the question of why people leave church.  In this post he asks, Does Christians’ bad behavior cause people to leave the faith?
This is a very useful series of posts, asking the right questions, attempting to find some answers - and of course, as always, the comments are as interesting as the posts themselves.