I didn’t mean to be cryptic. I am absolutely saying that I believe it doesn’t matter what model or program we choose. I don’t think the God looks at us and thinks that the Willow Creek model is His heart but NOT those crazy house church people or vice versa. I have pastored and church planted, done some things right and screwed up, too. And I have read so much, from George Barna to Bill Hybels and I can’t get away from the fact that long-lasting church growth still stems from discipleship the way Jesus did it. The man who discipled and trained me for ministry taught me that real lasting fruit is when your sons and daughters have produced sons and daughters who are producing sons and daughters. And we can teach people to do this in nearly all of these church growth models. We all know that Jesus didn’t do things by formula…He healed one time with his saliva and another time by just speaking to the sick person.
You say that ” the discussion still matters to the ones who will or won’t be reached because of our methods.” Methods don’t reach people, people reach people. Leaders in the church today want to discount another leaders method in order to validate their own method.
As for the Reformation, it most definitely needed to happen. But the Reformation was necessary due to corrupt church leadership, the Church functioning improperly as mediator between God and men and because of the teaching of non-biblical doctrines. Those are important issues that clearly violate scripture. Methods of church growth and whether or not to do small group ministry is not the same thing.
My point here is not at all to be contentious. I love Catalyst and have been many times. My point was to say that I think this debate is not an important one. I love what William Young says in “The Shack” as the character Jesus responds to Mack’s questions about the modern church- “...you are only seeing the institutions of a man-made system. That’s not what I came to build. What I see are people and their lives, a living breathing community of all those who love me, not buildings and programs.”
He uses those structures of our making but I just don’t believe that it is the concern of His heart that it has become to all of us who lead in the church. "
Comment by beth taylor - Mar 19, 2009 @ 11:45 AM