Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Ecclesiastical Ring of Power?

Pastor Jack Bauer at AC 24 has a great post on Confessional pastors who resist the temptation to use Church Growth Movement methodologies, titled "My Precious - Church Growth Methodology as a "Ring of Power." Here's a couple of the highlights:

You know, it isn't that your liturgical pastor doesn't know how to do all that sociology-driven Church Growth Movement stuff. He could pack your church every Sunday and then some.

...In the Lord of the Rings books/movies and in The Hobbit the rings and the One Ring represents a tool of evil, power, influence. But as we know, in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo the Hobbit rarely puts on the ring and then only at great personal risk and in temptation. The methodology of the Church Growth Purpose-Driven movement is just such an ecclesiastical ring of power. It is not the only one - there are also denominational political power rings, academic rings of power, charismatic rings of power, social gospel/liberation theology rings of power, and so forth.

So, again, it isn't that your curmudgeon pastor doesn't know how to pack them in, he wisely resists using this ring of power. The means of grace are the true way and yet this calls for patience, catechesis, reverence, bearing the cross, and repentance.

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