Some good quotes from stuff I'm reading (and hearing) right now:
"In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering." Howard Hendricks
"Here's what we're gonna need, love and community, laughter is eternity if joy is real" U2 from "Get On Your Boots"
"When have we forgotten that the church doesn't exist for us? We are the church and we exist for the world." Erwin McManus
This last one hits all of us in church work. We deal with it all the time and even perpetuate it ourselves as pastors sometime. How many times have we heard about people wanting to leave our churches because of things that have seem to have no kingdom value? Comments like "I'm just not being fed" and "we're just not being ministered to" dot the landscape. Add to that "I don't like the contemporary music"; "I don't like the hymns"; "I want more deep teaching"; "I want more fun"; "I think its too shallow"; "I think it's too deep"; "I think we use too much media and culture"; "I ______________________" and we got more "I's" than a sack of Idaho potatoes. Now, are these all bad things? Of course not. We need to balance our ministries and reach, train, and minister to our folks we are entrusted with. We are to be good shepherds of the flock. Neither does this mean that we don't evaluate, listen, and get feedback. All of those things are very helpful and help us to better serve. I love my students, my parents, and our folks at our church. It's an incredible place where we see God at work. But we have created a consumer mentality in our churches in America today, much by our own design, that can be very shallow on true kingdom principles like outreach, community, true discipleship, justice and basically having a heart for the the things we see that Christ has a heart for. Not that I have the answers for this dilemma, it's just a pet peeve stirred up by a great quote.