This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things and expecting a different result. That doesn't seem to be a great use of time, energy, or resources. A desire to change is what Sider is talking about in The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like The Rest Of The World? is what drives a lot of the emerging church. While we still love the church, we see the church having failed it's own basic mission. I wish I could hear a big Amen at this point but the reality is that not everyone sees it that way. I have colleagues in ministry that point to the Sunday attendance of their churches and their building programs and tell me that everything is going great and they criticize those of us that go in a different direction. All denominations deny this but the sweet allure of success is just too powerful, successful and big churches drive the agenda's of many denominations, either formally or informally. Success is largest impediment of change, which is why most downtown cores of cities across the United States and Canada are full of massive church buildings that were the megachurches of their day. What made them successful made it very hard to change from that. Change and new initiatives don't traditionally thrive in most institutions and need to be nurtured and protected at times.