We have a church in North America that is more secular than the culture. Just when the church adopted a business model, the culture went looking for God.... Just when the church began building recreation centers, the culture began a search for sacred space. Church people still think that secularism holds sway and that people outside the church have trouble connecting to God. The problem is that when people come to church, expecting to find God, they often encounter a religious club holding a meeting where God is conspicuously absent. It may feel like a self-help seminar or even a political rally. But if pre-Christians came expecting to find God--sorry! They may experience more spiritual energy at a U2 concert...
(Reggie McNeal, The Present Future, 2003)
"People in a postmodern culture have never been told that at their very essence they suck."
(Mark Driscoll, leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, talking about our gospel of self-actualization in the consumerist church of today)
"A generation of churches have chosen to keep their traditions and lose their children."
(Comment during a video)
Lest you think this was all a bunch of reactionary trend-stuff, I want to mention that this class gave a balanced and pastoral approach to the emergence of a new kind of church and I found it very inspiring and I hope everyone gives good thought to where the church is going in the next 10 years because there are some potentially great things in store if we open our eyes and our hearts and our minds and seek to be "missional communities ... consisting of followers of Jesus who are seeking to be faithful in their place and time." (Gibbs and Bolger, Emerging Churches)