“The American church needs more Dick Fosburys. We need leaders who stay within biblical standards and respect the traditions of the church, but are willing to jump over the bar backwards. Too many churches are stagnant, too many church plant fails and too many people are unreached with the Gospel to continue to do the same thing over and over and hope for different results. The current models of American churches produce extraordinary results only when led by extraordinary leaders backed by extraordinary piles of cash. We don’t need to abandon these current models, but we have to find new models to reach new segments of society and see new patterns of success. So how do we find the “Fosbury Flop” in the American church?” http://geoffsurratt.com/i-hope-your-church-flops/
One of the blessings that we have found living in the Downriver Area is being close to Greenfield Village. If you have never been there, imagine a small town dedicated to showcasing American entrepreneurs like Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers. But more than just a showcase, being able to walk through their homes and laboratories (or at least really good reproductions) and seeing what they had to work with and also seeing what they accomplished.
In almost every case, entrepreneurs take things that have always been there, but they use them in ways that they were never used before. I like taking my kids there (the annual membership is a Christmas present from my brother) and giving them a taste of history and at the same time hoping that beyond a taste of history they are also getting a taste for the power of innovation and problem solving.
One of the problems that I see in the American Church (and one that desperately needs some innovation) is our approach to making disciples. To be blunt, we don’t seem to be all that good at it. Part of the problem seems to be we aren’t all that sure about what we want to make. The other part of the problem seems to be that we aren’t all that sure about the process. So between uncertainty about the product and uncertainty about the process…it’s no wonder that we have some problems in this area.
The thing is…people don’t seem to be too worried about this problem as long as the songs are ones they like, the temperature is comfortable, the seats are mostly full (especially with people that they like), and the sermon is short. But of course, that would be like Henry Ford saying that he was fine with a Model T that was shiny, quiet and cheap, but that didn’t run. No one wants a car that doesn’t run…so why are we ok with churches that don’t make disciples? Maybe, somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten why churches exist in the first place.