Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Theology Doesn't Matter

I'm not sure I actually believe that theology doesn't matter, but sometimes I wonder. I had a discussion yesterday with a coworker about church. He and his family are leaving their small United Methodist church and going to a large, evangelical, non-denominational church. The main reason is that their daughter is participating in the choir at the new church and they don't like the minister much at the UM church.

Another family left our small UM church because they wanted a church with a rock band and more young adults. They ended up at a foursquare church. We had a family show up at our church that had been attending a LDS (mormon) church. I'm glad they're coming, but that's quite a change.

People seem to change churches all the time for reasons that have nothing to do with theology. It amazes me that people can step from a liberal Methodist congregation to a conservative/fundamentalist congregation without blinking. What does that say about the theology of our church?

What it tells me is that of all the reasons people go to church, theology is probably not near the top of the list. People go for social activities, support, companionship, worship, music, etc. What bothers me is that I think theology is really important. What we're about as a church is more than the sum of our activities or the format of our worship. What we believe matters a great deal. How is it that our message is making so little impact? Do we have a coherent message?

Is it the destiny of our churches to be judged by the production values of our services and our ability to market our activities? Are churches going to become like health clubs, only with live (religious) music and preaching?

What's the point?



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