The smartest kid in school, Carol Howard Merritt, asks us some very simple questions in her latest post:
Can we imagine a church where we can share resources? Where our definition of “church” does not depend on financial independence? Where a community’s status as a “congregation” is not based on how much money it has?
In her post, she wants to establish that financial stability is truly the measure of whether a church is a church. And then she dismantles it. Here’s the deathblow:
The problem is, in our church and in our society, there’s a huge financial crisis negatively impacting full-grown adults and churches. Complete financial independence is no longer possible in our current economic climate.
I agree with most, if not all, of her argument. Yes, we are connected. Yes, we should support one another. And yet, I want to quibble on one point.
This still assumes a particular model and function of the church: An organized non-profit corporation with tax-exempt status providing goods and services from a centralized hub.
My question is, “Is that what I got ordained for?” Cause… I didn’t learn that in Hebrew Exegesis.
Now I am confused. Is the point that financial stability is the determining factor of success? Maybe I am not in a place to comprehend this post. But I feel like your position is unclear.
That very well may be!
The question I want to ask is beyond the stability question. I want to ask what church actually is. After that we can talk baout stability issues, if they apply.
Well, from my understanding, church is primarily the gathering of the saints. Which leads me to believe that stability issues do not apply the same they might if church was something else, for instance a business. I think that many modern American Christians are increasingly confused on that point. They see a social gathering, a non-profit organization, or an affinity based spirituality group.. and that seems to miss the point.