While I know that no structure or program is perfect, some structures work better than others. As Elizabeth O’Conner intimates in the title of her excellent and out of print book Servant Leaders, Servant Structures (online version, yay!), we must design church programs and organizational structures that serve people in their need to know and obey God.
In this three part series, I want to discuss the following topics and questions:
Part I: What’s wrong with church?
Why are young people leaving the Christian church in droves? Why has the emergent church surprised so many? Are we keeping people too busy with church services to allow them to actually live out the Christian life? Do we perpetuate passive and immature Christianity with our current structures? Do we expect too much or too little of parishioners? Of our leaders?
Part II: What are the biblical purposes of the church?
Do they include fellowship, missions, evangelism, reforming culture, providing a subculture, discipleship, mentoring, prayer, service? If so, in what combination, or in what priority? What are the roles of the church leaders in all this?
Part III: What structures might actually serve the Church better in being the Church, if we could start from scratch?
In this part, I will outline how I would start anew, and how I envision the Church. I hope I get to be part of implementing such a church, I’m sure many are already doing it in some degree or another.