Is the Institutional Church Worth Saving? | Forum for Theological Exploration

Is the Institutional Church Worth Saving?

By: Rob Lee
April 16, 2014

When I was younger, I can recall Christmas Eve services at my home church where we had to pull out chairs and have auxiliary seating for the hundreds of parishioners present. Now, the only time we have to do that is for funeral services for the bulwark members of our church. Countless gallons of ink have been spilled debating whether the institutional church is worth saving.

On one hand, you have the people who affirm the institution’s place in our time but see that its death is drawing near. On the other hand you have people who are just as ardently fighting for the revival of the institution we all love. Let me propose a third way. The legend of the great phoenix rising from the ashes after its own death is a great story the church can learn from.

What if we too were to rise from the abyss of decline? What if we decided that the institution that is dying could be remolded into something beautiful and life-giving?

The reality of our time is that church is on the decline, but perhaps it’s time for a great awakening to the movement of the Spirit in our lives and the lives of those around us. As we continue to work with our churches and surrounding agencies like FTE, may we be in tune with the idea of rising from the ashes. The church will survive, I have confidence in that.

Tags...: Thinking Out Loud, Shaping the Future


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