Friend of Institutional

I decided I needed one of those logo bugs for my site. You know, like “Friend of Emergent” or “Friend of Missional.” So here it is!

Actually, I’m a friend to all kinds of churches and all kinds of followers of Christ and seekers after God.

I’m even a friend to some folks who don’t want to have anything to do with the idea of God. Good folks. Good friends. Not Christians. Not seekers.

So I post this at the risk of looking like one of those people that my late uncle Gene Ellmore more than once described as those who “like to choose up sides and smell armpits.”

It’s not that I’m being exclusive.

It’s just that I wasn’t sure how many logo bugs I could fit on my site, and somehow it seemed like no one was creating one for good ol’ institutional church – like the one where I work and worship.

Institutional church ain’t better. It’s just different. Just like us Christians ain’t really any better than folks who ain’t Christians. We’re just better off, in the long view of life and blessings and relationship with God.

So here’s to good ol’ institutional church: You’ve got your own logo bug, now.

I think what my college roommate Steve Leavell said about our alma mater can be said about church, and just as flippantly:

“She’s a great institution. But who wants to live in an institution?”

Folks who are crazy about Christ, I guess.

5 thoughts on “Friend of Institutional

  1. Cute, Keith. That’s all I have to say. Surprised? I know! The girl that usually writes a short novel on your page, for <>once<>, has nothing to say. Except that’s funny. Crazy about Christ, huh? I like it.

  2. KB, you stumped me on this one. I am going to have to mull it over a few days. To be a friend to something or someone is one thing… be an active part of something is an entirely DIFFERENT thing. So, be patient with me on this one as I try and get my arms around what you are saying. Jesus befriended everyone, but he didn’t condone what they were doing. Usually it was quite the opposite. Love you bro!DU

  3. You’re right, David. My friendship, though, doesn’t automatically imply I agree with everything a person says or does, or condone it as moral and pleasing to God – and I’m sure yours doesn’t, either!We can’t reach folks with the love of Christ if we can’t extend friendship to them first.I’m also a friend to/an active part (I hope!) of an institutional church. I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong or better about institutional church. We’re also missional. And we’re traditional. And we’re benevolent. And we’re evangelical. And we’re spiritually developmental. And we’re attractional.And so on and so on.I’ve got nothing against emergent church. It reaches many that institutional church can’t. And I understand that a lot of folks post a “friend of emergent” logo bug on their sites because there WAY too many smug, snippy, legalistic anti-emergent sites out there. Emergent churches did not all emerge equal, or equivalent – and some probably are way too wrapped up in their emergent-ness to be Christ-like. Unquestionably, there are a lot of institutional churches who are too caught up in their institutional-ness to be Christ-like, too.We need to work together to reach good friends who don’t know Christ and maybe don’t even want to know God.Maybe I shoulda just said that.

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