注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

守诚阁

基督徒世界观 译介圣经神学

 
 
 

日志

 
 

美國福音派的大衰退  

2013-02-16 05:49:05|  分类: 书介书评 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

美國福音派的大衰退 - 诚之 - 守诚阁

The Great Evangelical Recession by John S. Dickerson

http://reformedreader.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/the-great-evangelical-reccession-by-john-s-dickerson/

这篇博文提到这本书是介绍美国福音派教会正在经历衰退,许多青少年和成年年轻人因为对教会失望而离开教会,而这些离开教会的人却仍然认为自己才是在追求真正的灵命(emerging adults)。作者认为解决的方法不是让教会变成节目导向的教会(program driven church),举办很多的节目来吸引人,而是真正的用要理问答和门徒训练来教导会众,也就是用神的话来牧养神的百姓。套句林慈信牧师所说话,就是让教会成为「有道可传」的教会——有「有道可传」的牧师、长老,有「有道可传」的平信徒。

另外一个关键是有真正关系的门徒训练(authentic, relational discipleship),牧师要多作家庭探访,真正了解这个家庭的属灵状况,不要让教会变成只是「讲道点」(preaching stations),会众听完道就回家。


I just finished an interesting new doom-and-gloom type book called The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors That Will Crash the American Church … and How to Prepare, written by John S. Dickerson (Baker Books, 2013).  I call it doom-and-gloom, not because Dickerson paints a hopeless picture (this is certainly not the case), but because it paints a dismal picture of what will likely happen should the American Evangelical church continue doing business as usual without addressing major problems that will come home to roost in the next 15 or so years.

Whenever I read books like these, two things stick out: first, as historically-Reformed, confessional Protestants, many of the lures and pitfalls so prevalent in Evangelical churches don’t directly apply to us.  Most of our churches avoid being “program driven,” they diligently catechize their children and young people, they provide discipleship and pastoral care through elder visitation, and they have a strong commitment to systematic giving (whether tithing or other).

But second, just because we are confessionally-Reformed, that doesn’t mean that all of our churches behave that way.  Even traditional, conservative churches can (and do) fall prey to compromise in many of these areas.  Thus we too must take heed and ask just how recession proof our own churches are.  Have we begun drifting toward the program-driven model?  Have we become lax about insisting on catechesis and discipleship?  Have we become too hands off about teaching the saints about giving and financial stewardship?  Books like Dickerson’s play an important role for us, even if churches like ours don’t fall directly in their sights.

One aspect of this book was especially interesting.  Chapters 5 & 11 deal with “bleeding,” namely the loss of members.  Citing studies by Christian Smith, Kenda Creasy Dean and others who are studying the American church sociologically, Dickerson notes that young people (teens) and “emerging adults” (those in their twenties) are showing less and less interest in the church.  Though many believe that they retain a true personal spirituality, this is utterly false.  Dickerson notes: “…Smith’s research shows that when young people leave [the church] on the outside, they’ve left on the inside too” (pg. 102).

The anecdote?  Faithful catechesis and discipleship (i.e., shepherding).

The body is bleeding out because its leaders, its servants, and its people have forgotten how to make disciples as Jesus described and modeled.

We can call it shepherding.  We can call it discipleship.  We can even call it being relational.  What the three have in common is real people dealing with real life, together – and pointing each other to Jesus as they do.  What we are failing at is real ministry.  Not commercial or mass-marked events, but real ministry in real lives – the way Paul, Peter, John, and even Jesus did it.  We have somehow lost it on a large scale.

To slow the bleeding loss of our young people, we must first reach their parents with authentic, relational discipleship. And to reach the parents, we must first reach their leaders and in many cases, their pastors.

Great Evangelical Recession, pg. 183.

If we are failing in this way, if our churches – also the communion of the saints, remember – have neglected the mark of discipline (both positively in terms of shepherding and negatively in terms of admonition) and simply turned into “preaching stations,” may we repent and flee this hateful attitude toward the sheep (think Prov. 13:24 here).  Let us recover consistent home-visitation.  Not the quick “check-the-box” kinds of visits being practiced in some settings, but true, Pauline “house-to-house” ministry (Acts 20:20).

John Dickerson’s The Great Evangelical Recession was an interesting read.  Again, not relevant to every confessional-Reformed church, but certainly worth considering by those in confessional-Reformed churches, especially those who still “behave” like evangelicals (church hopping, consumerism, etc.).

______________________
Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church
Anaheim, CA




 
  评论这张
 
阅读(678)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017