Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spiritually Yearning, Institutionally Alienated

I'm re-reading Thomas Bandy's book, "Christian Chaos: Revolutionizing the Congregation." The book is a nice diagnostic analysis of the church who confronts the issues of control and power that limit its effectiveness and move with excitement into the age of ravaging ad exciting change. He notes in the second section how the new "Gentile mission" are those who yearn for a deep spirituality, but who are also those who are alienated by the institutional church. As I think about that I am grateful that the text that guides our vision comes out of Acts 2, and Peter's sermon on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was released in a new and powerful way. Our Acts 2 Vision is to bring people into a vital relationship with Jesus. To make that vision a true reality will require a body of believers who are willing to embrace deeper and deeper levels of change. It will require a community of disciples who are willing to look within themselves and ask, What will need to change in me for our congregation to reach people authentically with the gospel? If Bandy is correct, then a thorough re-reading of Acts should help us understand more clearly our role in bringing people into vital relationship with Jesus.