This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
I remember finding a book in the church library as a kid way back in the 1970s. I noticed the book because the title didn't fit with the rest of the books; I'm not sure how this one got in. The title: Brethren, Hang Loose.
I heard again about this book last year and ordered it for myself. I'll be posting some quotes from the book over the next few days.
The author, Robert Girard, reflects on his experience of building a "successful" church (written back in 1972):
It cannot be denied…that the Lord used the early emphasis on programming to bring pagans to faith in Christ and into the church.
But all our programming could not bring about spiritual maturity. It seemed, rather, to encourage dependence on "the program." And it couldn't prevent the development of many of the old institutional diseases…
I began to ask, "Is this really the task we've been called to do: to build a large congregation of new Christians…and then just try to keep these spiritual babies dry and happy 'til Jesus comes?
"Or is there more to building a church?"