It is a rather common and popular thing these days in the world of church leaders to critique the way we are doing church. I do it on this very blog with some predictable constancy.
A common point of critique of the Church is essentially summed up by a number of quips - "The way we are working is not working." "They like Jesus but not the Church." "We need to rethink Church and be a missional outpost" "We need to be less church focused and more Kingdom focused."
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
While on many levels I agree with these sound bytes, the way in which they are shared is often the greatest point of frustration.
All of the seminars I have been at which talk about "rethinking Church" there is a tendency to talk about how we can no longer expect people to come to church in the ways people came to church in the past. We cannot just build a building, slap a cross on it, call it a church and expect people will fill the pews each week. We have to think beyond the walls of the church and be "incarnational" and "missional". They tell us that we cannot keep doing what we are doing and expect different results.
The thing is, the way these seminars are set up they look a lot like the expression of church they are critiquing.
A group of like minded people gathering together to listen to a middle-aged person (generally male) standing on a stage talking about changing behavior in order to generate different results.
I find it annoying and unimaginative at best, and condescending at the worse.
If you want people to see Church expressed differently, then you have to show people. The medium really is the message on this matter.
What would it look like to have a church seminar that was open source/space?