Come To Us...In thinking about Jake's quick post two things occured to me. I think I'll only talk about one though. Jake said...
"the most interesting and difficult would be the development of the community the church is in. I don't see much of this at all, to be honest, fighting injustice and not only providing some relief for people in need in the area but really fighting to get things right for them"
I think that it's easy to see churches at work in their community. There are a ton of churches that do a lot of "nice" stuff right within their circle, the key I think is in the last part of what Jake said, "the fighting to get things right for them." The churches do a lot of nice stuff for those who are "less fortunate", but very little to make it better for the long haul.
When Jake said that he wonders if the reason that people don't know their neighbors. I think he may be on to something. I think that it may break down into corporate and individual reasons.
Coporately I believe the church has become more of a service organization than it is a "body." The mindset in most churches is that people will come to us, and that they will recieve some sort of service when they come. (not church service, but more in the line of an oil change)
Individually I believe that we've become so accustumed to being consumers in every aspect of life that we forget what it means to be a neighbor. We're always looking at things from a consumer mindset that we forget what it means to be neighbors. For Christians we're always on our way to something "christian". Brian McLaren wrote in More Ready Than You Realize, "I think most people would become better Christians if they spent less time in church."
One thing I would like to talk about is the impact of how being a Christian has become so "me focused" that we loose the mission.