I am currently reading Christopher Wright's book, "The Mission of God." In the intro, he is asking if arguing that the mission of God is the framework from which to understand all of Scripture is faithful to the text or is imposing something foreign to the Text onto it from outside. I found the following sentence pretty funny: "There are of course many frameworks within which people read the text (feminist, pshychological, dispensational, etc.)"
I recently read Mike McKinley's book, "Church Planting is For Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things." It was really good. If you are involved with church planting or pastoral ministry, you will be encouraged and challenged by this book. McKinley is the pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. He's a young guy, and understands some of the pitfalls we fall into which was helpful. Here is one section I particularly enjoyed:
"Several organizations had approached me about planting churches in the trendy part of the city where all of the wealthy young professionals live and think. The idea, I think, was that I would be the tattooed pastor in the punk rock band T-shirt with a church full of twenty-somethings, all of whom wore plastic black eyeglasses. We would meet in a warehouse on Tuesday nights, followed by a trip to the local brew-house. Good theology. Loud music. Maybe a trendy church name taken from a Greek or Latin word that will sound cool for five or six years. . . . Don't get me wrong - I can see how such a scenario presents an effective way to draw a crowd. People favor people who favor them. They favor goods and services tailored to their tastes and how they want to perceive themselves. Niche marketing works. So plant a church that gives off an intelligent, slightly rebellious, funny, hipster, vibe, and you will attract pre-wealthy twenty-somethings, since that's how they want to feel about themselves. If you do it artfully, you may attract lots of them. Hopefully you'll be able to help those twenty-somethings you've attracted: lead them to Christ, teach them a lot about Jesus, equip people to care for the city. I'm not knocking it. That would be great! But. . . I don't think you would have a very healthy church. The Bible seems to assume that a church will express diversity in age. . . . It's hard to see how that happens if everyone in the church is the same age, right? Are the twenty-seven-year-olds supposed to teach the twenty-two-year olds how to be godly at that stage of their life? . . . But if we only hang out with people who are the same age, who like the same kind of music, and who share our taste and politics and preferences, how are we any different from the world? Doesn't every non-Christian you've ever known hang out with people who are just like him or here (Matt. 5:47)? [p.17-19]