But more often than not, we leave churches for what we might consider discretionary reasons. We don’t need to leave, but choose to leave. And we typically do this when we feel weary of the people, when we feel like they aren’t interested in us anymore, when relationships feel cool rather than warm, when we feel like we need a fresh start.
Many people see small, rural churches like the minor leagues: they are a great place for pastors to be trained but the really good ones won’t ever stay there. The real game is played in the big cities. Or so we’ve been told. Well, I think we’ve been told wrong. Rural churches matters much more than we’ve been led to believe. Here are three reasons why.
I’ve heard before an illustration used to try and explain this phenomenon, and it involves the electric company and a household appliance. It does like this:
You go into your home right now and you will find electrical outlets in every room. The house itself doesn’t provide the power; that’s from an external source. The electric company is responsible for generating and providing all that electricity; the outlets are merely the access points. It is our job, as the dwellers in the home, to access the power that has been made available to us.
Our internal sense of peace serves as the ultimate rationale for decision-making and, the great thing is, no one can question us. It’s the ultimate mic-drop—akin to saying that God told you to do something.
Who’s gonna say that God didn’t tell you this or that your sense of peace is wrong?
This was fascinating (seriously).
How can we approach scholarship with rigor that any field of scholarship can respect (Christian and otherwise). while being careful not to become sellouts, heterodox, or even heretics?
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra:
This week is the last chance Chinese Christians have to tell their government what they think of its latest religion law.
They have an awful lot to comment on.
China released a draft of new religious restrictions in September, including the prohibition of online religious services, running religious events in schools, and organizing people to leave the country to attend religious training or conferences.
A favorite from the archives:
I’ve been at this whole blogging thing for about five years now. One thing I learned very quickly: blogging can be tricky business. Although it’s not actually all that hard to get attention in the Christian blogosphere, it can be fleeting. Deadlines can weigh on you. Life gets busy, and you have to ask: should I still be doing this?
(And for those wondering, no this isn’t my subtle way of saying I’m giving up the ghost.)
So when do you know you need to quit?