At a recent Forge National directors meeting one of our crew shared this insight from American church leader Erwin McManus. During his time in Australia, McManus urged Aussies to be more diligent about responding to their own context and doing their own missiology. He insisted that we have to stop following what is happening in the US.
To do this he showed where we are in relation to Christendom.
The Australian culture is much more secular and further removed from a Christendom mindset than the American one (by and large). No surprises there hey? But the problem comes in that while the American church is responding to its own culture (de-churched / nominally Christian) the Australian church by and large has chosen to follow the American church.
For some reason we have chosen to imitate US models and practices rather than seeking to develop our own home grown approaches to church. In a highly secular context where church just isn’t on the radar for most people we must radically re-think what we are doing as our context is vastly different to the USA!
Back in 1981 when John Smith wrote Advance Australia Where he argued strongly that we have never had a truly Australian church. We have imported British forms and Americans models, but we just haven’t done the work of thinking thru what an indigenous expression of church would look like.
(And yes – I realise its ironic & amusing that I am quoting an American telling us not to follow Americans!)