Andrew Strom did a lot to promote the term “Out of Church Christians” and yet, taking a look at the majority of people he places under this label within this book, we can see how wrong the use of the term is.
Strom’s label is steeped in the idea that “church” is a type of organised institution with a particular structure, meeting regularly to be addressed by an appointed leader. The people described in this book don’t see themselves as “out of church” – they see themselves as a more authentic expression of what church IS. They have departed the traditional and routine organisations with their weekly passive meetings to seek genuine Christian relationships that last longer than an hour or two a week in meetings where most of the time the most they see of others is the back of their head.
With this book and with the first incarnation of his revival school forum, Strom brought together hundreds (maybe thousands) of hopeful believers who for various reasons had left traditional churches. His resources gave them links to others around the world in similar situations. It was an exciting time – until Strom withdrew his apparent support of this large group of people, a move that broke up and scattered them around various new internet forums.
Strom has since grown seemingly weary of those who were once his hopeful supporters and dismisses them as being “anti-leader”, “anti-body” lone rangers. Maybe it’s time he revisited his own book and renewed his acquaintance with those who helped to give him a brief time of recognition as the “leader” he wants to recognised as. Sadly he wasn’t content with the group he helped to bring together.
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