Below are snippets from Larry Crabb's Real Church. Perhaps taken out of context they could be misunderstood, but the risk is worth it, for they surface a dire need within Christendom today.
Learn spiritual theology; hunger for spiritual formation; gather in spiritual community; move into the world on a spiritual mission. Make this into a formula, and the vision dies. Let it be what it is – a rhythmic cycle, a dance – and these four spirituals could transform a gathering of Christians into a church, a real church, the church I want to be part of. (p. xix)
These are folks who, like me, sincerely and with biblical warrant believe that Christians-in-community should be and could be the most potent force on the planet for personal transformation (helping redeemed people become, as coined by C. S. Lewis, “little Christs”), for powerful cultural influence, not mainly through political clout and certainly not through moralistic judgment but through offering a different kind of love than most people have ever seen or felt – a wise love that speaks with power into where people live. (p. xxii)
But if a choice had to be made (and it never should have to be) between a church that shepherded children well but left the parents untouched in their inner world and a church with little for kids but lots to form adults into truth-hungry, formation-focused, community-alive, mission-overflowing disciples of Jesus, I’d choose the latter church every time. (p. 8)