Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer conversations

This summer we will be hosting a series of conversations together.  As a springboard for our chats, we'll be reading & discussing the book Reimagining Church by Frank Viola.  To say that this book may provoke more than mere chats may be an understatement. 

The first sentence of his Preface reads, "After thirteen years of attending scores of churches and parachurch organizations, I took the daring step of leaving the institutional church" (p. 11).  Reasons?  He was painfully bored with Sunday-morning services and he saw no spiritual transformation in the lives of people in those services.

The purpose of his book is, "to articulate a biblical, spiritual, theological, and practical answer to the question, Is there a viable way of doing church outside the institutional church experience, and if so, what does it look like?" (p. 12)  He qualifies his goal by stating that since the church is actually "the people of God, the very bride of Jesus Christ," he's actually concerned with reimagining the "present practices" of the church not the church itself. 

I'm hoping to open our Monday night conversations up to others via this blog.  If you are willing, please comment on these posts, ask questions, answer questions, raise issues, etc.

So what is church?  What is your experience of church?  Let's "chat."


  1. This ought to be interesting. Hope everyone gets some useful, helpful insights.

  2. Church is a body of people who believe in Jesus Christ. I too have had very bad experiences in institutional churches. I also had stopped going to institutional church for several years. Is the soft copy of the book or e-book available?

  3. As I listen to how the word church is used today and how people speak of their church experience I often find that Jesus is not part of the conversation.

  4. I do hope that this turns into an ongoing conversation.

    Pradeep, you can get the book on amazon.

    Eric, I too have noticed that the way in which we speak about church tends not to include the head of the church, Jesus.

    The language that we use of church tends to form our experience of it. If we talk about church as something that is our possession--"my church" or as something outside of us--we're "going to church" it reveals that we're thinking of church as something other than Christ's people, His body, His bride (agree? disagree?). Some may think this only a semantic issue but doesn't it actually go deeper than that in our experience? Thoughts?