One line I read a few weeks ago about congregational life together has stuck with me in a big way. I’ve brought it up, in one way or another, several times already. In a Christian Century article, “More People, Looser Ties” David Eagle drops the sentence, “Think of it this way: a congregation with 100 married couples today has 1,000 fewer hours of potential volunteer labor to tap than it did in 1970.”
In a nation where, increasingly, belief in God cannot be assumed, and where Christianity is losing more and more of its sway in public discourse, what does membership in a church offer? Or, to put it another way, how might we say that church matters?
I’m curious how faith leaders might answer these questions because I recently ran across a very difficult sort of answer.
Since I teach stewardship and a course called Money and Mission of the Church, I often get asked my perspective on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program. For the uninitiated, Dave Ramsey is a best selling author, financial guru, and public speaker. His syndicated radio show on financial matters attracts more than 8.5 million listeners each week. Ramsey is also a born-again Christian and markets his curriculum, Financial Peace University, to churches.
When it comes to teaching, I think a lot about maintaining the fine balance between clearly, loudly, explicitly teaching my students thingsto know, and subtly, quietly, implicitly teaching them ways to think.