Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dear American Church,

Not a month goes by that an American Christian worker somewhere in Europe doesn’t get an email from a Church in the States involving a story about an exchange student who has “found Christ.” They would like the worker to find said student a good church home in their little European village. There are at least two problems with this situation in just about every case where it occurs, so they might as well be addressed in one handy blog post.

Dear American Church,

You need to realize firstly that the most of the churches to which you are sending your new believer are fundamentally broken. What used to be the heart and center of world-wide Christianity—the home of the reformation—is decidedly post-Christian. Churches are relics, museums, and empty memorials of an institution that is as worldly as they come. You are preparing to send your student away from a vibrant community that meets regularly and pushes the limits of creativity to an empty, cold stone building that might see a dozen people gather once a week for a matter of minutes to celebrate a religious ritual. Europe is less evangelical today that parts of communist China. It is harder to communicate the true meaning of the Gospel to Europeans than to Muslims in the Middle East.

Secondly, we need to be honest with the fact that much of what constitutes church over there is broken as well. All of the programming, entertainment, packaging, bells and whistles that take the place of discipleship and community have made the American church more a product of and not an influence on culture. What many European students see in their experience of church is an opportunity—a doorway—into the culture they are trying to experience. When they return home there is no replacement for the church they have left because they have left an aspect of American culture, not a spiritual community.

What is missing in the whole process, the place where the ball is being dropped, is not in the hands of the person in Europe who fails to connect the believer with a European church. It is in the churches in America where students are not being shown what a true, Biblical, universal, Missional model of what a community of believers looks like. They come home looking to be spoon fed spiritual milk and entertained with programs and production values. They should be looking to transform their relational circles and start new communities of faith wherever they go.

1 comment:

NonModernBlog written content is the copyrighted property of Jason Dietz. Header photos and photos in posts where indicated are the copyrighted property of Jason and Cheryl Dietz.
Promotional photos such as screenshots or posters and links to the trailers of reviewed content are the property of the companies that produced the original content and no copyright infringement is intended.
It is believed that the use of a limited number of such material for critical commentary and discussion qualifies as fair use under copyright law.

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP