The friendly church

That the church has difficulty being a disciplined community, or even cannot conceive what it would mean to be a disciplined community, is not surprising given the church’s social position in developed economies. The church exists in a buyer’s or consumer’s market, so any suggestion that in order to be a member of a church you must be transformed by opening your life to certain kinds of discipline is almost impossible to maintain. The called church has become the voluntary church, whose primary characteristic is that the congregation is friendly.

— Stanley Hauerwas, “How We Lay Bricks and Make Disciples,”
in After Chistendom

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One thought on “The friendly church

  1. I cringe every time I hear a church call itself friendly, especially the one I pastor. Friendly isn’t the same as compassionate. If I want friendly, I can go to the grocery store and talk to the person checking me out or I can go talk to a waiter or waitress while I place my order. The love of Christ goes a lot deeper than friendly.

    On the plus side, I think I just found a sermon topic.

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