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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rennovation of the Church

I'm reading a book that is messing with me and I just came across a couple of paragraphs that couldn't resist sharing.

we become a part of a local church to have an encounter with the God who actually exists. And it must be a very small God indeed who can only be encountered at a church with a vibrant youth program, killer music and specialty coffee drinks in the lobby. Obviously, the danger is that we are choosing the church we attend not primarily to meet God but to satisfy our perceived needs. There is no way this can be good for our formation into the image of Christ. I saw this with greater clarity at one of our regularly scheduled "Discover Oak Hills" meetings we have for people new to our church. I had each of the ten new people give a brief overview of their spiritual journey and what brought them to our church. Eight of them had come from the larger church down the street. That church was too large for their taste, and some of the other churches in town were too small. But they found our church just the right size. It reminded me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That church was too hard. The other was too soft. But this one is just right! 
When it was my turn to speak I noticed that our pastor of community care had a worried look on her face. I suspect she was making a mental note of scheduling these meetings when I was unavailable. Regardless, I dove right in. After talking about the history and vision of our church for a few minutes, I spent some time talking about what it means to be a church family and that it's impossible to create authentic Christian community with people whose commitment is dependent on having their perceived needs continually met. I talked about the ancient Benedictine vow of stability. I described the church as being like a holiday gathering of an extended family where Uncle Fred always shows up drunk, Cousin Billy brings his latest floozy girlfriend, Aunt Martha gossips about everybody, and Grandma Helena adores everyone. The family may be incredibly weird, but it's still our family. People aren't skipping Christmas this year to be with the family down the street. We're family, and we learn to love each other, warts and all.

Kent Carlson;Mike Lueken. Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation (Kindle Locations 722-734). Kindle Edition.

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is AMEN. Thank you for this post.