Dan Kimball’s post called Reality Church stirred up a lot of thoughts for me. If you haven’t read it yet, take a moment to read it. I understand what Dan was getting at about growing into a more mature and realistic understanding of church life.
I agree with Brother Maynard’s summary of the stages and his doubts about returning to the same church we started from. Here is a quote from his blog:
Then there’s Dan Kimball’s description of the ten phases of Reality Church where people move from being excited about Jesus to overcommittment to disillusionment to being happy and balanced.
Now thanks to Dan Kimball’s efforts I know that I’m only two phases from a happy balanced life. Seriously, it’s a good description of the detox process — or it would be if the journey he described didn’t end up in the same church that it started from… I think the majority make a break in the ninth and tenth stages and move into a more missional or emerging church expression.
Understanding that this was a general outline, not intended to be all-inclusive, let me point out a couple of things that I took exception to.
There seems to be an assumption that all who have left church did so because of immaturity, idealistic, unrealistic expectations, and an intolerance of the imperfections of others.
What really disappoints me is the conclusion that there is no point in hoping for something different. I’m sure step #10 would depend on what church you are returning to, but for many of us that is not an option.
I’ll have more to say about this in another post.