This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
In his new book A Second Resurrection, author and consultant Bill Easum says we may need to rethink our attempts to revitalize churches, because revitalization isn't enough:
Is it possible we have underestimated the seriousness of Western Protestantism's situation? What if the metaphors of reformation, renewal, and revitalization don't get to the heart of the problem? What if the situation is much worse than those words describe? What if the vast majority of congregations in the West are spiritually dead and God no longer considers them churches? What if God has one foot out the door of most of Western Protestantism? What if the vast majority of churches are like the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation? What if God is about to spit us out of his mouth?
Reformation, renewal, and revitalization assume some pre-existing foundation of faith from which to raise up a new church. But what if that assumption isn't correct? What if that assumption is part of the problem?…
Easum concludes that most institutions have "ceased being the church," and that except for a remnant, the people who make up the institution are spiritually dead.
Is Easum being too harsh, or is he right?