Out of Context: Brandon O'Brien
The distorted view given by "church experts."

"Over time, the experts have done for church what postcards and PBS specials have done for the Grand Canyon: they've made it difficult for us to appreciate our own experience apart from theirs. We have lost the ability to see and experience and appreciate ministry for ourselves. All we can see is the disparity between what our churches are and what they are 'supposed' to be."

Excerpted from "An Unspoiled View" in the Fall 2010 issue of Leadership Journal. To read the full quote IN context be sure to subscribe to Leadership today by clicking on the LJ cover in the left column.

Brandon O'Brien is associate editor of Leadership and the author of The Strategically Small Church (Bethany House, 2010).

December 21, 2010

Displaying 1–1 of 1 comments

Mark Gomez

December 22, 2010  1:41pm

It is becoming increasingly common to see reports, statistics, and surveys thrown around in and among churches and leaders. What is especially difficult is that we tend to rely upon these and the so-called experts who create the reports to be handing us genuine information. This is modernity at work with a tool that could be helpful or ruin us depending upon whether we rely on the "experts" or God's word. Church leaders cannot rely upon their singular view of the world from their own church world, but more and more commonly the experts are creating trends or trying to create trends. Barna statistics tell us the Church is over and done with at the local level in his "revolution" writings. Since I have not seen a retraction, I can only assume that he has not changed his mind. Not only is this unbiblical, it is a dim view from someone who does not pastor a church to know any different. More and more I am taking the "experts" with a grain of salt and not trusting their every evaluation of what is reality. I am sticking my head out of the office and looking around for myself and checking to see if anyone else has anything legitimate to say as well. I do not want to live in the "old days" but I do not want to be controlled by the modern view if it is in conflict with God's word.

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