Dreadfully bored with theology
I wonder if readers can identify the source of this quote, in which the speaker is asked to explain why churches are growing:
Two ways. One is a demand answer; one is a supply answer.
The demand answer is simple. There are so many young, educated people who are struggling with ambition and isolation. They come out of a blue-collar background or a farm background and find themselves working in the jungle of Los Angeles or Cincinnati. They need something to offset that intensely competitive, high-pressure, high-stress environment. They need something that they may not be conscious of, but something that restores balance and sanity. They need community.
On the supply side, more and more churches are what I call "pastoral churches." Their purpose is not to perpetuate a particular liturgy or maintain an existing institutional form. Instead, they're asking what my business friends would call the marketing question: "Who are the customers, and what's of value to them?" They're more interested in the pastoral question ("What do these people need that we can supply?") than in the theological nuances ("How can we preserve our distinctive doctrines?").
These churches are growing partly because the younger people need pastoring and not just preaching, and partly because, very bluntly, people are dreadfully bored with theology. They can't appreciate the subtleties. And I sympathize with them. I taught religion; I didn't teach theology. I've always felt that quite clearly the good Lord loves diversity.