a few years ago i had a space like this…a blog.  initially i had begun writing here because it gave me an outlet, space to work out some of my theology, my thinking & even frustration.

it started out hot & heavy but it began to wane and eventually i took it down.  i made some excuses about why i wasn’t doing it anymore, but eventually realized that i wasn’t writing anymore [not at all] because of something else.  something that was happening inside me.

the former “writing spot” was also a connected to the church & where i felt like the church [in general] needed to go if it were to survive & thrive as a new group of Christ-followers were to stay connected to the church.  in things that i was reading, conversations being had & church leaders listened to there was an angst growing inside of me.  this angst had everything to do with the growing disconnect i & others were seeing with the coming generation.  in truth the disconnect was much more wide-spread than i realized.  it was coming all the way up to my age-group.

the disconnect was this: church seemed to be built for a certain age-group [not mine or the generations behind me].  it seemed to be about a way of connecting to God, but not really about God Himself.

that may sound harsh, but here’s why i felt this way.  much of what was deemed “necessary” for the church was about the things that happened when we went to church.

dress in your sun. best [jeans & untucked shirts no, no]

sing the right kind of songs [anything post-1975 was simply not going to work]

let’s make sure we all look alike [the homogeneity of most churches is astonoshing]

these are just few & of course this may not be true in your church.  you may have a church that is the cutting edge on all things new & are a part of a multi-ethnic congregation where everyone wears whatever they want & no one looks cross-eyed at them.  but for me… i’ve gotten that look.

here’s a realization i had when talking with one of the churches i serve just this past week:

the largest assumption in many/most churches is that everyone here is saved, already knows Jesus, all goin’ to heaven.  when that becomes the assumption there is a comfort level that’s reached among the church-folk.  “we all know each other, feels pretty cozy”

when that comfort level is reached, budgets are being met, a little growth here and there [mostly from sheep-shifting, folks from a neighboring church closing]; there isn’t any urgency for something new.  and when the new thing that God is seeking to unearth isn’t being sought, and we don’t care enough to find it again the church is dead.  they just don’t know it yet.

90%+ of churches in america are plateaued or declining.  the saddest & most difficult thing to swallow is that those that are in that 90%+ don’t care about that statistic.  i’ve had it said to me when mentioning that number, “yea, i don’t really want to hear about that.”  that’s too bad, because soon there will be someone shoveling dirt over your church.

so for me, and i know this is a long post, i want to be about leading & shaping a new way of doing church that is much, much, much more about what happens on the days mon.-sat.  those too are the days that the church needs to be visible & vibrant & show what it means to live the life of Jesus.  there are some interesting things brewing inside me these days & i just know that God is about to do something big…

…join me.

Advertisements