From Mark Greer
Stuart shared the following vision of characteristics that might help churches become a church that people want to stay in rather than leave:
* Churches where God is at the centre, rather than the minister, programme or growth targets.
* Churches that nurture authentic friendships rather than insipid ‘fellowship’ or institutional belonging.
* Churches that are self-critical, alert to destructive inter-personal dynamics and that are working towards healthy community practises.
* Churches that treat adults as adults and encourage spiritual development rather than spoon-feeding their members.
* Churches that foster dialogue rather than monologue and participation rather than performance.
* Churches that welcome questions, eschew simplistic answers and affirm the dimension of mystery in authentic spirituality.
* Churches that encourage expressions of doubt, anger and lament as well as joyful certainty.
* Churches that are alert to the pressures of daily life and do not place unrealistic demands on their members.
* Churches that engage creatively and sensitively with contemporary culture and social issues.
* Churches that equip members for the world of work and discipleship beyond the congregation.
* Churches that embrace a holistic understanding of mission and have realistic expectations as marginal communities in post-Christendom.