I belong to a Christian denomination which is renowned for its organizations. These organizations have dress codes, constitutions, membership fees and conventions. They are also dying a slow and painful death. Why? Because we have in our churches a younger generation who live according to the philosophy that "If it is not life-changing, it's not worth it"
Today my friend, Themba, said something profound: "People respond to events, not organizations". It made sense instantly. Thinking about it, I can testify to this phenomenon. We have had so many "events" in the life of our church, and I cannot recall any of these that was not well supported. When we tried to turn these events into a structure, whereby people had to put down their names on a piece of paper, all of a sudden these opportunities would run dry.
I think it is because people want to feel part, but not necessarily bound by anything. Furthermore I was challenged to think about how I live out my faith. Can I describe the practice of my faith as an event, or an institution, a happening or a structure? I fear that if I became clinical in my faith to the extent that I judged others by measuring their commitment to adhering to my organization, I would be deceiving myself.