If you’re considering a book to stretch your thinking about how to “do” church in an increasingly post-modern and post-Christian context, I highly commend Alan Hirsch’s The Forgotten Ways. Here’s a snippet:
…there needs to be a clear distinction between necessary organizational structure and institutionalism. As we shall see, structures are absolutely necessary for cooperative human action as well as for maintaining some form of coherent social patterns. However, it seems that over time the increasingly impersonal structures of the institution assume roles, responsibilities, and authority that legitimately belong to the whole people of God in their local and grassroots expressions. It is at this point that things tend to go awry. (p. 27)
Can one whole-heartedly embrace a biblical view of New Testament eldership while also walking the tightrope between organizational structure and institutionalism? What might this look like in practice?