I told someone recently, “…to just pick a church — any church — and attend service regularly for six consecutive months.” Part of the reason is in our conversations it’s easy to spin in circles on where the church is often inadequate, or our personal struggles in relation to belonging and discipline, so after a while even the conversation topics become tiring. Perhaps, because deep down we desire steps to take us forward rather than being stuck in one place along our Christian journey. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for rest and sitting still because we need to listen or re-center ourselves. But, whether it’s as one who’s in church leadership or not, perhaps we’ll need to focus more on our energies not on “finding” a church or even “doing church” but first by “being church” and then see what happens- part of that being process is “being there” 🙂
Jason Clark says it well here in You’ll never find the church you’re looking for.
“I remember George Barna several years ago surveying non christians, unchurched people, asking them what would church have to do and be for you to ever consider being involved with one. They gave him a long list of things. He then followed it up by going back to people saying, ‘good news!’ their are some churches that have lots of those things you wanted, are you interested. And guess what they almost all said no thanks.
The reality was that people can easily list the things they say a church should be and do, but even if their is a community near them that is all those things, they still won’t by and large get involved. It’s easier to be a critic than to participate.
And in our desire to re-examine church, to adapt and change in the face of our changing world, under a vital missional mandate to do so, I keep reminding myself that relevance is greatly overrated. We can (and I think we should) strive to be kingdom based, break down sacred and secular divides, be communal with our experiences and learning, listen and be open to outsides, serve our communities without hidden agendas, foster a habit of participation and creativity, value ancient, modern and future, be networks rather than hierachy.
And still people will say no thank you, handing my life over to Jesus and serving the Mission of God with others in my community, doesn’t fit my consumer lifestyle and requirements. And maybe whilst we strive for those changes, we’ll stop beating ourselves up over not acheiving them all.
wise & realistic words above.