Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful post called “Missional Angst and Western Church Norms” about the shift in the church away from consumer-driven models of ministry. He noted that some are being called out of existing churches to live their faith in more organic ways (the Radicals), others are choosing to stay put and tweak from within the organization (the Conservatives), and a third group are the Critics.
He describes the latter group this way: “…church consultants, authors, professors, etc.—can be professional church ‘angsters.’ Their blanket criticism against Western cultural norms in established churches can prohibit pastors from loving the people to whom Jesus has called them in the style consistent with their social context. Furthermore, many critics want to still operate within the Western culture norm, but constantly complain about it. They are vocal in criticism, but light on action. They condemn the norm, but won’t actually quit their jobs to live out their proclaimed principles.”
Stetzer is right in calling out these folks. I read blogs written by some of these armchair analysts. I have friends who’ve carried their wounded souls out of the church after getting caught in the crossfire of bad politics, abuse, or lousy teaching. Heck, I’ve been told on occasion that I complain too much about the church. Sometimes I have. But…[Read more]