R. Scott Clark just put up a post on the adjective “Authenticity” to describe what is needed in planting churches these days. I liked his thoughts, and look forward to him getting around to his other two (Strategic and Confessional). Here’s what he wrote:
When you receive a telephone call from someone you do not know, what’s the first thing you ask yourself? It’s probably “What do they want?” We live in a time of suspicion. We all exercise a hermeneutic of suspicion. People assume that other people are “working an angle.” People generally assume that others are trying to get something from them. Our congregations must be or become places where, when folks visit, they find a congregation of people who aren’t trying to get something from them, who aren’t trying to manipulate them. Our congregations must be places where people can find folk who only want two things: to glorify God and love their neighbors. This is what I mean by “authentic.” This runs counter to a lot of popular approaches to church planting and “church growth.” There are (and have been since the second “Great Awakening”) lots of methods for getting people to do what you want (walk the aisle or whatever), but those shouldn’t be our methods. Indeed, if methods = manipulation, we ought to be completely shed of them if we want people to trust us and to listen to what we have to say. The question isn’t what we get from people but what we can give them: the good news and love of Christ.
Originally posted here.