Most of us professing Christians, from liberals to the fundamentalists, remain practical atheists in most of our lives. This is because we think the church is sustained by the "services" it provides or the amount of "fellowship" and "good feeling" in the congregation. Of course, there is nothing wrong with "services" and "good feeling"; what is wrong is that they have become ends in themselves. - - -
What we call "church" is too often a gathering of strangers who see the church as yet another "helping institution" to gratify further their individual desires.- - -
To the extent that the church and its leaders are willing to be held accountable to the story which is the gospel, ministry is a great adventure of helping to create a people worthy to tell the story and to live it.- - -
Pastors fail if they have not evoked an exciting sense of adventure among their parishioners.- - -
Power arises from truthfulness. The power of Christian clergy lies, not in their cultural significance, but in their service to the living truth who is Jesus Christ.- - -
No clever theological moves can be substituted for the necessity of the church being a community of people who embody our language about God, where talk about God is used without apology because our life together does not mock our words.
~Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony
Labels: quote, Resident Aliens