The test of the reform is evangelism: whether the bureaucratic or the personal styles of ministry will reach the world most effectively. The extraordinary growth of the churches in Africa and Asia, where bureaucracies are small and bishops and their priests are usually evangelists as well as pastors, suggests the superiority of the personal to the bureaucratic. When their churches are growing so rapidly, even as they are persecuted for their faith, the West might wisely defer to their wisdom. It can’t claim to have had great success doing things its way. The Western churches might see the beginning of a revival if their bishops filed all the reports and resolutions, dissolved all but the essential committees, and canceled the legislative meetings, and went out into the streets of their sees with a bishop from Africa to tell people about Jesus.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Church, and the United States...
An interesting article from David Mills, over at Touchstone Magazine, titled Reorganizing Religion: Why the Church Bureaucracies Have to Go. While it deals mainly with how church structure can develop into a detrimental aspect of the body of the church as a whole, he concludes with an interesting juxtaposition of how the church in Africa appears to be growing, quite well thank you, without the same bureaucratic anchors we seem to find in the West. Mills says,