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Church in a Box

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : October 3, 2004

Hey! There is now an excellent resource available from Christianity Today to make it easier to buy a do-it-yourself church kit! *to be read with sarcasm*

For a monthly fee, you can have Christianity Today make a website for you through Church Site Creator. I understand the usefulness of such an endeavor. A number of issues get raised by this new offering from Christianity Today, however. You can read previous blogs for my take on making profits off of churches, but I am concerned about the move towards “church in a box.” I am sympathetic to those churches that simply don’t have someone capable of making a website. But the general trend to provide a “kit” that tells an “entrepreneur pastor” how to do everything, and provides everything they need runs against the messy grain of a decentralized church. It also takes away creativity and innovation. It used to be that a community had to struggle through–with each other and with the Holy Spirit–the question of: “How can we be a church to one another and to our neighborhood? Technique is ever-replacing the role of the Spirit.

If it were just this one tool, it would be ok. But now there are “how to” manuals for church planting, leadership training, church management, small groups, evangelism, discipleship, etc. The seeker-sensitive approach to these things has been codified and now represents an ecclesial standard more ubiquitous and authoritative than the Pope is to Catholicism. I may be over-reacting, but you get my gist.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of JesusManifesto.com. He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He and his wife Amy have been married since 1997. They are expecting their first child in April.


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Comments

One Response to “Church in a Box”

  1. Chris B. on October 3rd, 2004 11:10 pm

    I don’t think you’re overreacting. Overreacting would be taking down all the links to “how-to” manuals for church planting, leadership training, church management, small groups, evangelism, discipleship, etc. in your Missional Reading sidebar. (wink, wink) *playful jab to ribs*

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