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September 1, 2009
"Come just as you are" taken too far?
posted by UrL Scaramanga
| Comments (13)
Related Tags: Church attendance, Church growth, Church Health, Discipleship, Fellowship, Humor, Video
that is more than a bit disturbing
Posted By: nathanjohnson83 | September 1, 2009 2:21 PM
It's just like Internet Campuses for the dial-up generation! :D
Posted By: Bob Hyatt | September 1, 2009 3:19 PM
Probably the image that stuck in my mind after seeing this video was the complete lack of community. Men and women each in their own car separated from one another by lots of sheet metal.
While on one level, I am glad these people turned into this parking lot, I still believe they would eventually be missing a great deal of what it means to be a church.
Posted By: Jim Martin | September 1, 2009 9:08 PM
It seems to be a dumbed down approach to church life, but so is sitting in a pew inside the building. Deep mutually building relationships are a back burner idea, even for churches that program for it. Only a tiny percentage of saints engage as God designed them to with spiritually reproductive results. God is full of grace and can use a great variety of dynamics that short cut or contradict His design, but the results and rewards that flow leave the church with stains and wrinkles.
As long as the system of church life is dominated by trying to lure people into a holy building to hear a holy man, rather than church life driven by God's people reaching the lost on their turf, the church will try almost anything to get folks in the door, or close enough to hear Christian words spoken, even if in isolation and non-relationship.
Posted By: Tim | September 1, 2009 11:04 PM
Posted By: Jim Martin | September 2, 2009 5:46 AM
All this lamenting over lack of community really makes me wonder: how many Christians throughout history were ever really in "community" as we're longing for it?
We assume the disciples of Jesus went out to "the uttermost parts of the earth" and evangelized, made new disciples, and lived in close personal relationships of mutual respect, authenticity, and accountability. I wonder.
Thomas before he was martyred in India? John exiled and seeing things on Patmos? Antony living in the desert to get away from people in Egypt? Chrysostom trying to avoid a highly politicized pastorate?
Or do these guys come to mind because they were the exceptions. Maybe the vast majority of believers were in deeply satisfying experiences of community. But I wonder ...
Posted By: Jarrod | September 2, 2009 7:28 AM
This is going to sound like flamebait...but how many in that video fit the stereotype of overweight, lazy American? (Seriously...watch it again.)
Community issues aside (and they are not insignificant), this is an act of enabling: the pastor enabling his congregants to avoid any of the hard calling of the gospel: to be in relationship, to serve, to die to self.
There is a message in the medium, and in this case, the message is all wrong.
Posted By: Clay | September 2, 2009 4:37 PM
I agree with others that the first thing I noticed was the lack of community. While "meeting people where they're at" can be good some of the time, this seems like a such a cop-out option for teaching people how to grow and encourage and serve one another.
Posted By: Rachel | September 2, 2009 4:56 PM
I get what folks are saying about community. But I have a different question. How is sitting in the car more convenient or comfortable than just walking in the building? This seems too much like the commuting I do all week. Forget the theology--it just doesn't seem to make any sense.
Posted By: Brandon | September 2, 2009 10:13 PM
Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. It makes tons of sense, at least for those of us who use the drive-through at Wendy's and Starbucks and even Walgreen's pharmacy.
And Clay is on to something. As the weight goes on, it's easier to stay in the car than get out and walk through the doors. (1) It takes more effort. (2) The knees hurt when I walk. (3) I'm not sure I want people to see me in my current physical condition. (You men in the prime of life may not get this.) So, (4) staying in the car addresses all those issues.
Posted By: SallyB | September 3, 2009 7:39 AM
I applaud the effort. Americans are funny people, but God loves them all!
Posted By: John | September 3, 2009 11:16 AM
This video, like so many churches, frames the problem as a decline in the number of people attending, so naturally, as in many churches, the solution is seen as increasing the numbers, and making church a little less challenging is the way to do that.
But as others point out, more numbers do not a community make. And I'd add, removing challenges does not help build community; it only reinforces the myth of individualism.
Are those who drive in being challenged to become part of a deeply shared community of belivers?
Posted By: John | September 4, 2009 12:18 PM
I think we are missing the point. As an evangelistic strategy, this may work and cause people to build a relationship with that pastor.
However, it is NOT a substitute for what Christ intended for his church, along with many other models that are used today. Let's stop focusing on what isn't church and start working on creatively developing local expressions of the body of Christ.
I would love to see this church use this ministry to get people into a relationship with God and with others.
Posted By: Mike | September 4, 2009 2:02 PM
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