September 6, 2006

Purpose Driven Dissent

The purpose driven bandwagon has finally passed (for the most part I hope) and the evidence is in the writing. The Baptist Press, who would be the first to jump on board with Warren, have actually posted an article about the harmful effects that the Purpose Driven Model has had on churches.

Michael Spencer, internetmonk, posted his thoughts on the subject.

"Younger pastors reading Warren’s books, hearing success stories and dreaming of what it will be like to turn their church into a hip megachurch like Rick’s have often done some pretty rude, dumb, hurtful things along the way and that story hasn’t been told. I’ve read and heard dozens of versions of the “why we are changing” mantra, and I can understand why a large chunk of traditionalist Baptists have filed it all away in the “just enough rope to hang him” department."

"Megachurches, their super programs, their consumer driven worship, their shallow, free-floating theology and their non-pastoral pastors are dinosaurs. A world-wide, global emerging church that’s too diverse to fit into anyone’s book is the rising tide."

I certainly hope that I'm not just moving with trends, because in my fundamental days (after reading The Purpose Driven Church by Warren) I was all about megachurch and planting a church just like Rick Warren did (I admit that I was a fool). Now, I'm all about finding the voice of the culture and allowing church to emerge within context, and even allow new theology and practice to be shaped by culture.

All I know is that I'm actually glad this has been exposed, the dark side of purpose driven. Not that I have it in for Warren, but I feel it's the model church that keeps Christianity from going deep and actually reaching people. No model can be adapted without giving some flex to the culture to change it and make the model its own.


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