Note: Since the below deals mostly with theory, I promise to write a "So what?" and/or a "What can we do about it?" response next time.
In often genuine efforts to keep the church relevant (i.e., "not boring") to the average consumer, much of mainline Protestantism has succumbed to rationalizing systems. In some instances, rationalized systems make perfect sense. Non-places like Starbucks and McDonald's, for example, do an exceptional job at keeping costs relatively low and quality at a consumable level. Unfortunately, however, like the story of Si in the excerpt above, propagators of nothingness turn people and spaces into no-things. In short, rationalized systems dehumanize (some even say, "does violence").
Two noteworthy theorists, Jurgen Habermas and Paulo Freire, have addressed such issues. Habermas, a German philosopher and sociologist, contends that much of what ails societies is a de-coupling of one's inner life (lifeworld) from the particular system(s) in which one operates. When this happens, the system becomes "de-legitimized." To translate for our purposes, the thing we call "church" (however one defines it) loses its power to the degree the people who make up the church lose their ability to communicate with each other in a way that promotes truthfulness, honesty, and justice.
Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educationalist, looked at the same issue from a pedagogical (educational) perspective. At the core, Freire contended that we should educate in such a way as to bring about a "critical consciousness" in people. Again translating, Freire brought to light the huge gap between dispensing information (our current mode of education, largely lecture-centric) and creating environments facilitating rich dialogue.
The point here is that Jesus masterfully created discipling environments promoting somethingness among his disciples. Thomas Groome refers to this as "shared praxis": that is, a dialogical environment where the people of God imagine together what a community faithful to the biblical narrative might look like.