...Having said all this, the “great halls” (stadiums) of preaching distribution will not connect to the lost souls of post-Christendom. Post-Christian people are not attracted to the sermon as the first place to go in their spiritual distress. We must help leaders understand that if you spend 35-40 hours a week in your office preparing a good sermon on Sunday, making it not only theologically competent (which is worthy) but slick, you are ministering to the dying vestiges of Christendom.You know my "mantra" that this is all based on a blind dependency on an M.O. we refuse to see and break away from. The paradigm is the old church as a big block of ice sitting at one location never to move. The institutional church is hooked on invitation/attraction and all it is really doing is shuffling a small percentage of society from ice block to ice block. So we persist with the poor stewardship of pouring our resources into the block and expecting someone to sit within it for several hours per week to dazzle the shuffled masses.
Alan Hirsch has stated that in America a large percentage of evangelical churches are "tussling with each other" to reach a small percentage of the population. He qualifies the small percentage by noting the a majority of Americans report an alienation from the current form of "church" where you go to one location on one day a week for an hour or more.
Tony & Felicty Dale (with George Barna) have nailed the problem in their recent book "The Rabbit and the Elephant" with this observation:
"Liquid church happens when we stop inviting others to come to church and instead we go out into every sphere of society as the Lord leads. We reach out to our neighbors or our coworkers, and instead of asking them to come to church, we get together with those people right where they live and work. In this way, segments of society that might never have experienced church life are affected by the Kingdom of God."May the Holy Spirit's heat once again go to work!