One side of the coin says:
Churches of Christ are positioned to do well in the emerging culture. We never really jumped on the seeker-service bandwagon so we don’t have to unlearn worship as production rather than participation. Acapella worship invites participation. It is simple and portable. It works with groups of all sizes. It can be ethereal. In a culture plagued with non-stop noise, our worship style offers the ultimate “unplugged” experience.
We are big on baptism and communion. We are able to invite our neighbors into the mysterious world of the sacraments. We immerse them into the life of God and feast with them at the Lord’s Table. Our congregations offer tangible experiences of spiritual realities.
Because our roots are in a “back to the Bible” movement, we are always ready to re-examine the Scriptures. We know from experience that traditions can’t be trusted. The message of the gospel is easily encrusted. So we willingly go back to the headwaters of our faith to look for ways that the good news has been polluted somewhere along the way. It comes as no surprise to us that our modern version of the gospel is just as distorted as the medieval version we moved beyond so many years ago. We are quite comfortable subjecting even the most orthodox of orthodoxies to the scrutiny of a fresh reading of Scripture.
When an incongruity between what Scripture teaches and what we practice is identified, our autonomy allows each congregation to conform itself to the will of the Lord post-haste. We do not have to negotiate the politics of conventions or synods. Under the guidance of Spirit-led Shepherds, every congregation is free to be the kind of church God is calling it to be. This allows each and every congregation to be a Christ-flavored version of itself, free to respond creatively and appropriately to the needs of its surrounding culture.
In a post-denominational culture, where the name on the sign outside the building is less important than it used to be, our message of a simple, Bible-based, non-denominational practice of Christianity ought to resonate with those looking for more than empty religion.
Perhaps we are who we are, where we are, when we are, for just such a time as this?