Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Churchless Faith - Craig Bird

What can we learn from the wounded and frustrated believers who are leaving the church to find God?

The post-congregationals have left the building. Not just any building. Our church buildings. On their way out, they were overheard to say: "Why won't someone at least listen to the tough questions?"

Others say they are leaving in order to rescue their faith. Many say they struggle to find a way to worship in honesty, to forgive "church abuse," to grow in Christ-likeness or to reach an equilibrium in their spiritual life.

In his book, A Churchless Faith, sociologist Alan Jamieson studies "post-congregational" Christians. Throughout his research, he again and again found longtime Christians with significant leadership resumes who, while definitely adrift from the traditional church, were just as definitely on a journey to know God -- a God not intimidated by the hard questions that were unwelcome in their former churches.

Jamieson wanted to know why people with a deep longing for God decide they must abandon their congregational homes to continue growing spiritually. "We need to realize that God is in the question as well as the answer, and that living with the questions is part of the journey," he points out. "For many people it would help if this journey was talked about, preached about and discussed in the life of the church."

The full article is available here