Since the mid-1970s colleges and churches in the Restoration Movement (Christian Churches/Churches of Christ) have focused on leadership training. In my opinion, all the training on leadership skills diverted the focus from sound biblical teaching and we are paying the price. More importance is placed on leadership pragmatics that biblical principles. While there is much of value to be learned from the "scientific" study of church growth dynamics and effective leadership, sound biblical positions must never be short-circuited or devalued.
Brotherhood publications, once aimed at the growing Christian, are now, with few exceptions, focused on pragmatics. Church after church drop their subscriptions to The Christian Standard because no one reads it any more...and its not because of the Web version either. When only one article in each issue, at best, discusses a biblical issue why should the average Christian have much interest? The publication appeals to the professional clergy and few others. Whatever happened to the concept of the priesthood of all believers?
The truth is: We reap what we sow. Churches and preachers are abandoning the Restoration Plea by the truckload. Churches deny their heritage to adopt Calvinism and/or Reformation theology. Countless others espouse the Evangelical version of Calvinism (Calvinism watered down) to fit the American scene.) Others merely preach topical messages which supposedly "meet needs" but communicate spiritual pablum. I know it is nice for nice people to be nice, but I don't need a steady diet. Where is the solid expository preaching that really helps people grow in the faith?
I go to a men's Bible study hosted in one of "our" mega churches. I enjoy the fellowship and the time with Christian men. That's great! But what is the study, you ask? A video study from an Evangelical church on men's work. The study uses scripture as "proof texts" and they are often taken out of context and forced to apply in such a way as to help men become more godly in the work place. That's all well and good, but what are the biblical truths which undergird such teaching? What are the foundational principles?
Sadly, some of this is the result of failure to relate Scripture to life. I know that! But topics built on Scripture taken out of context and molded to fit conclusions aren't the answer.
I guess I'm just getting old. Oh, well!