Mark Galli considers the contemporary evangelical church and observes that when it adopts the emphasis of social transformation as goal instead of the nurture of Christians that it sows the seed of its own obsolescence.
The church is not designed to transform society, and when it teaches Christians that societal transformation should be a Christian’s chief goal they will gravitate to the groups which are purpose designed to do that work.
When the church emphasises the actions that attract unbelievers, it marginalises the actions that grow Christians.
The liberal churches followed a similar pattern into obsolescence, why would evangelical churches emulate it?

From Galli:

Because the church thinks it has to be missional, that it has to be a place where the world feels comfortable, it has dumbed down the preaching and the worship, so that in many quarters we have ended up with a common-denominator Christianity. It goes down easy, which is why it attracts so many and why many churches are growing. But it is a meal designed to stunt the growth of the people of God. And it is a way of church life that eventually burns people out, where people become exhausted trying to make the world a better place.

Read Galli’s essay at Christianity Today.

2 thoughts on “When The Church Substitutes Social Transformation For Spiritual Growth (via Mark Galli)

  1. Peter Inns says:

    We were never called to change the world. We should be calling people out of the world and into the Kingdom of God. The so-called church consist mostly of people who have mental assent to the gospel and perhaps basic Christian principles. Because they are not born again, they have no power to live the life required by God. It is not considered politic to preach the truth. You might upset people and lose your income stream. So the church degenerates into a state that neither challenges the world or edifies the few believers who attend. No wonder many real Christians are forsaking what is called church.

    1. Gary Ware says:

      What is important to me out of Galli’s commentary is that the whole church gathering for worship is understood to be the primary means by which God grows his people, with the form and content reflecting that, and the small group gathering understood as a secondary (not mandatory, but highly beneficial) context for growth and encouragement.
      Societal transformation does occur which God’s people are salt and light, and that may involve various levels of activities. When the church is seen as being primarily about societal transformation the elements by which Christians grow become marginalised.

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