Friday, July 24, 2009

Church: Virtue or Venue?


While reading this super-duper book on the Emergent Movement called Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be), I ran across a profound truth that I have deemed blogworthy.

I'll start by asking you a question: What is the purpose of the church?

You can go on ahead and think of several purposes if you like (jot them down for some other time since we won't be dealing with them here). What I am aksing is, what is THE purpose of the church?

Now that you have some ideas in mind let me ask you a few more questions:

Is the purpose of the church to provide a venue for Christian entertainment (music, films, drama)?

Is the purpose of the church to open its walls and various flat surfaces for the works of Christian artists (painters, sculpters, photographers)?

Is the purpose of the church to host Christian motocross or skateboarding events?

Hopefully your answer to those last three questions is no.

My point here is that all too often we see folks getting disgruntled because they are not being given an outlet for their creativity in the church, which really means that no one is paying attention to them...

So, should the church go out of its way to provide venues for these folks?

The answer to this final question depends entirely upon the answer to the first question (and the 2nd through 4th questions, which I already said should be no, so I guess I've given away what I think the answer is).

That said, I'm not going to answer it. I'll leave it to you. But some research before you answer might be helpful. Read the book of Acts. Then, keep in mind the following insight I gleaned from Ted Kluck, one of the authors of the book I referenced earlier.

Churches don't generally provide venues, outlets, and support for software designers, salesmen, or farmers, but we don't hear those people complaining.

"...it seems that the artists who are making the most noise about 'not being supported' are the ones who may not have the talent to really cut it in the marketplace anyway." (Why We're Not Emergent, p. 143)
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