How Churches Stop Christians Being Christian

Michael Frost, professor of Evangelism and Missions at Morling College and the pastor of a radical church Small Boat Big Sea in Sydney was interviewed by ABC Radio National. Here’s what he said about how traditional churches tie up believers with doing church stuff which actually prevents them from living an authentic christian life:

“I think that churches are made up of people who mean well, and who are genuinely seeking to live out their faith…. But I’d much rather fashion something which is more organic, more relational which frees people to be able to live their faith out loud, and large, and in a dynamic fashion, rather than kind of squeezing into a mould where six days a week they’re one thing and then on Sundays they’re another thing. ….some churches can simply, by their structure, fashion this separation between the sacred Sunday meetings and then the rest of life, I’m pretty critical of that. I’d love to see us start to unleash hundreds and thousands of followers of Jesus who are able to follow Jesus in all of life, not just say in a worship meeting.

I’ve been going on this journey for a long time. I’ve been the pastor of some traditional-style churches in the past, but I guess it was just a growing dis-ease that I found that it was as though the structure of church, as I just mentioned before, was operating against all the best intentions in the world. I mean, I would speak to people in my churches about the need for us to be generous, and hospitable, and to live our lives in close relationship with those who don’t necessarily attend church, to be committed to the poor and to the environment, to practice hospitality, I never get anybody say to me, “Oh, Michael, I don’t think we should do that.”

I mean everyone will agree with you, but the requirements of sustaining a lot of the institutional style Christianity actually draws people out of their world. It makes them too busy to be able to then practice genuine hospitality, and to partner with their neighborhoods and their communities. So I would much rather disassemble some of that, free people up, give them more time to be able to actually do what I think they’re intended to do, rather than just to be on committees and to set meetings up and to run from one kind of small group meeting to the next.”

What do you think? What’s your experience been? Do you agree with the prof?

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