Leaving?

Dr. Jack Reese in his book, The Body Broken, gives reasons why young people are leaving the Churches of Christ, the heritage in which I serve.  Let me quote two reasons Dr. Reese gives.

“First, some young people are leaving Churches of Christ desiring to experience something profound in worship, something engaging and relevant: they want to encounter the presence of God. . . . Second, many of these young men and women are tired of sectarian, legalistic church life and doctrines that confuse Gospel and opinion” (The Body Broken, 42-43).

As I read this section on why young people are leaving the Churches of Christ I could not help but resonate with what has been written.  I long for the day when our prayers are not simply words from the pulpit, but rather are spoken from the midst of the church with shepherds and individuals surrounding each other and lifting each other up in prayer.  I long for the day when the table does not become something we do out of habit but rather is done in the midst of the community and as we break bread together we do so remembering Christ, but also remembering the person sitting beside us.  I long for the day when the 1700s hymn that has language I cannot resonate with nor understand be replaced with songs that draw me closer to God and remind me that I am called to live a life in light of the cross of Christ. 

And please, quit giving us the sectarian, legalistic arguments.  Quit writing about whether or not hand clapping is a form of musical instrument.  Quit writing about whether or not the seven day creation theory is fact or fiction.  Quit writing about how postmodernism is a devil’s tool.  Quit confusing Gospel and opinion and start preaching Christ and Christ crucified! 

Does anyone resonate with what Dr. Reese has written?  If so, I would love to hear from you and to start a dialogue in order to help grasp the idea of how our worship services can do the following: (1) form disciples of Jesus (2) allow us to experience the presence of God (3) to glorify God (4) to strengthen one another in Christ (5) to be engaging (6) and a few other things that are running through my mind.

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Published in: on March 9, 2007 at 12:37 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. “Quit confusing Gospel and opinion and start preaching Christ and Christ crucified!” Amen. Great post Nathan.

    As a minister in the C of C, you might be interested in reading this article by Joe Beam:
    http://www.gracecentered.com/what_is_happening_to_churches_of_Christ.htm

    Keep up the excellent work here.


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