I love the church. Of course, when I say ‘the church’ I’m talking about a collective body of believers, not an organization. And though the Church as an organization is probably one of those necessary evils we must endure in this life, it could be so much better than it is today! So in the spirit of David Letterman here are the Top 10 reasons why the modern church is irrelevant:
10. The Modern Church relies upon a shared theological view, or ‘meta-narrative’; the post-modern world is moving rapidly away from this point of view.
9. The Modern Church wielded power because its organizational leaders held the keys to biblical knowledge and wisdom not widely available to the general public. Then those Google guys came along…
8. The Modern Church uses clichéd stories to educate children and adults. These are usually the same stories our pastors’ parents heard when they were kids. Yeah, kind of a lot has changed since then…we often don’t come away from the Modern Church with the tools necessary to deal with a post-modern world.
7. The Modern Church has (painfully) tried to keep up with contemporary music tastes in an effort to be relevant. Unfortunately most of this music requires a heck of a lot of money and talent to reproduce. Most churches would be better off playing YouTube video clips of our favorite songs and spending the money going to the Worship Ministry on helping the needy instead.
6. The Modern Church’s missionary efforts are based on a model designed before air travel, the Internet, and a global economy. We spend thousands of dollars to send Americans overseas for two-week ‘missionary experiences’, or worse yet tens of thousands of dollars to move American families overseas to serve as full-time missionaries, while people from those same countries live and work in our own communities.
5. Most pastors in the Modern Church were taught to preach three-point sermons to congregations with similar socio-economic backgrounds and who have a shared knowledge of Scripture. If your church’s congregation looks like this today, I’d bet good money it’s a small church on its last financial legs.
4. The Modern Church’s organizational structure is rigidly hierarchical, while the rest of the world is adopting more organic organizational models.
3. The Modern Church’s leaders are vested with the authority of Apostles…by the rest of us. Let me ask you something: If you can read the same books, have access to the same tools, and have the same Holy Spirit indwelling in you, why in the world do you behave as though your pastor is any more ‘holy’ than you? The post-modern world is moving away from positional authority; i.e, job titles don’t mean jack.
2. Most pastors in the Modern Church are trying to teach people the Bible: History, theology, doctrine, etc. But in the post-modern world people are far less interested in theology, at least up front; they want answers to the problems in their day-to-day lives. Ever noticed how many self-help books are on the shelf at your local book store? Yeah…
…and the number one reason why the Modern Church is irrelevant…
1. Social media…heard of it? Sadly, the Modern Church is a social club of sorts for many of its members. The post-modern church can finally shed this horrid function thanks to Facebook, Twitter, etc.