Here are two posts the sum up two poles of the conversation about “what should the church do” in response to today’s challenges.
First, we have a forceful statement of the church-growth mindset that has been a powerful influence in the American Protestant church for my entire life.
Second, we have the dissenting statement that sees church growth as a serious misunderstanding of church and resists the use of business as a model for church.
I personally lean temperamentally toward the second point-of-view. I find folks such as Henri Nouwen and Eugene Peterson persuasive when they write about the church and the role of the pastor. The first view, especially its urgency about the work of the church, fits better I think our Wesleyan traditions and the examples of our most visible United Methodist pastors.
This, of course, creates tension for me.