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10 June 2010

How Would the Church Be Remembered?

A well-known pastor and a favorite speaker of mine, Francis Chan, recently left Cornerstone Church, a fellowship he started many years ago in Simi Valley, CA. I've always appreciated Chan's candor and pure, unadulterated love for Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that God kept pushing him to write books like Crazy Love and Forgotten God. And I'm grateful that he's listened as God has led him further.

I'd like to transcribe a segment of his talk on his next-to-last Sunday at Cornerstone. He nailed some things quite well. Francis Chan and most of you believe that these things can be remedied and changed from within the current institutional church structure. I honestly (and daily) pray that it's possible.

What I've seen is that the structure we've set up inherently stunts spiritual growth, and those who grow, in my opinion, grow in spite of the Church rather than because of it.

Without further editorial comment -- remembering that I have just given you MY thoughts, not Francis Chan's -- here's what he excellently said, beginning midway in the podcast as he spoke about several historical periods in the life of the Church, and how today's Church might be remembered in the future:

If [what we know of the Church] ended now... what would it be remembered for? ... I believe if it ended now, there'd be a little period of history right here called "the Consumer Age of the Church" where the norm was, you'd show up to these places and you'd consume.

It's an age that was weird because there was more Bible knowledge than ever before... more Bible knowledge accessible (laughs) through the Internet -- you can listen to anything at all -- this information about God and about the Scirptures right at their fingertips, and yet people started getting picky about going, "Well, I'll only take the Word of God if it comes through this person's mouth, I need this type of personality; I'll only sing with this type of song, this style of music; I wanna show up to a place, I want you to "feed" me, I want you to disciple my kids, I want to be able to bring my neighbors, and I want you to lead them to the Lord. I want YOU to disciple them, and we'll pay you. And if I don't like the way you do it, I'll find another place.

You guys, I know that's normal. But it is weird... in line with Church history.

(All emphases mine)

There is definitely more; I've just printed a very small segment of an excellent talk. If you disagree with Chan because of me, it's probably me you disagree with rather than him. You need to listen to the whole thing.


Leroy said...

Looking at Mr Chan's excerpt that you so eloquently posted :), the one thing that jumps out to me is the smallest of all words..."I".

That's what church is to a lot of people. I.

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