During the past year, I worked with congregations that made me wish I lived closer and could be part of it all. With other congregations, I resisted mightily the temptation to tell them to just close the doors and go home, there was so little of value there.
Theologian Miroslav Volf often writes that churches fail at their central task because they do not define a way of life that is worth living. My less hopeful side suggests that the prevailing consumer culture overpowers the church's message of prayer, forgiveness, and redemption.
During 2011, I'm hoping readers will provide examples of churches that do, indeed, define a way of life that goes beyond acquiring consumer goods; a way of life that transcends our individual interests, whims, and preferences.