Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Presence-Driven Church - More Programs ≠ Spiritual Growth

In All Saints Spitalfields in Chicago.

I got burned out on the Program-Driven Church years ago and entered into the surprising, delightful, non-striving Presence-Driven Church. It's in the latter that disciples of Christ are formed.

See, e.g., "Willow Creek Finds Limits to its Model: Spiritual Growth Is not Keeping Pace."

From this 2008 article:

  • Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek, said it was “almost unbearable” to learn that almost a quarter of his congregation’s people were either “stalled” in their spiritual growth or dissatisfied with the church, with many considering leaving.
  • Hybels - “It is causing me to see clearly that the church and its myriad of programs have taken on too much of the responsibility for people’s spiritual growth.”
  • Researcher Diana Butler Bass says: “I have interviewed dozens and dozens of people throughout the United States who used to belong to churches like Willow Creek but left them in order to become Presbyterians or Lutherans or Episcopalians. Ex-members of the megachurches have sort of rediscovered a level of being Christian that they were unaware of.”
  • What's needed for spiritual revitalization and growth? Simple things like Bible study and prayer. What's cool, says Bass, is that “the littlest congregation in the world can do those kinds of things. It’s through those pathways that those churches have actually found revitalization.”

Get small.

Study the Word.



Be free.

Bear much fruit.

Give all the glory to God.