Monday, September 8, 2008

The Great Giveaway

I just finished reading David Fitch's book The Great Giveaway. This book describes how the church has given away much of it's mission to the culture around us. If you are in vocational ministry I believe that this book brings much insight and asks some good questions about how we do ministry today. Also, it does not stop at questions as so many books that take a critical look at the church tend to do, but instead Fitch offers constructive ideas and concrete insights as to where he believes the church can reclaim the mission.

I want to leave you with some of the quotes that stood out to me:

On our Definition of Success

"Let us turn from only measuring church attendance to measuring the life being lived in Christ. Are we seeing evidence of his salvation in our midst? How many marriages have been saved? How much sexual abuse has been ended? What is the number of times people have come to another's aid in the congregation financially, how many people in the church have invited a stranger to the gospel over for dinner, how many people in the church have reached out to a poor person with the gospel." -pg 45
On Leadership
"We should counter the proclivity in evangelical churches to pay and isolate specialists over and against equipping the laity to do the work of the ministry by encouraging the rise of multiple leaders and respective tasks within the church."
-pg. 93

On the Production of Experience
"Today, the typical American under thirty-five doesn't learn simply through isolated, rationally delivered propositions via the lecture hall. In fact, they are even suspicious of it. They react with questions such as, "Why are you so interested in convincing me of this?" -pg. 99

"But by the time the person makes it to the pew, a post-Christian culture already forms him or her six days a week, and so that person has already been formed to hear what he or she will hear" -pg. 101