Today’s guest post is written by author and pastor Russell Rathbun. I got to meet Russell at Princeton Seminary a few years ago, and really enjoyed hearing him preach. Russell is a founding minister with Debbie Blue of House of Mercy, a pioneering emergent church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He’s the author of a brand new book called nuChristian: Finding Faith in a New Generation. nuChristian responds to recent reports of Christianity’s image problem. In nuChristian, Russell offers practical suggestions for leaders who want to reach out to the new generation with a Christlike community that is transparent, holistic, loving, engaged, just and humble. I asked Russell to write a guest post today for his stop at Pomomusings on his Virtual Book Tour. I hope you enjoy his post, “What if a Church Had an Expiration Date?”
What If a Church Had an Expiration Date?
I have talked to a lot of people who are starting churches and a lot more people who are trying to keep churches from dying. Both missions are very hard to accomplish. So, I had an idea. What if you started a church with an expiration date? Say, five years. That would be just enough time for an energized core group to get together and build a unique community—an incarnation of the Body of Christ that addresses a particular time and place, the context in which they are living. They could welcome friends and newcomers who are interested, intrigued, and drawn in by the body’s particular vision, worship, service, study, and creativity, inviting the visitor to become part of the life of the community. Finally this expanded group of believers would begin to articulate new visions for changing contexts and to develop new core groups around those visions, groups who would then go out and start several new churches with new expiration dates.