Common Sense..?

In talking with friends in ministry across the nation, a question has been nagging in the back of my mind.
It may seem offensive and that I’m in full attack mode. But really, that’s not where I’m coming from. It’s an honest question that I wish I could find the guts to ask one day. Well, not guts. I wish I could find a way to ask it without seeming like I am attacking or being offensive.

The question that I see myself asking after hearing wonderfully funny and frustrating stories is this: Why do we tend to check in our common sense when we walk through the doors of the church?

It seems like some churches operate as VCRs in a DVD world. Or as walkmans in a MP3 player world. Or as analog TVs in a digital TV world. Or… well, I can go on.

Because our churches are filled with very intelligent people, who are successful, who are business savvy, who are much smarter than me… but I think it’s safe to say that no one would operate their business today the way they did 15 years ago. Or raise your children the same way today the way we did 15 years ago (and totally ignore the issues kids face today with Internet bullying, ADD, etc.) But when they step in the church, they’re content to be 15 years behind from the “real” world, or at least the communities surrounding the church.
It’s 2009 but many of us seem to be happy to party like it’s 1999.

I love the Church.
I love the United Methodist Church.
But, how can we start teaching people to see with open eyes and open hearts?
How can we bring about change that is desperately needed, without displacing those who call church ‘home?’
How can we affectively get our current members and clergy to ReThink church? And do so in a manner full of mercy, grace and love?

Where there is God, there always is hope.

One thought on “Common Sense..?

  1. I’m there with you and totally get what you’re saying. In my experience these questions seem threatening to others because it’s perceived that we don’t appreciate their “norms” at all. Which is why I say it all goes back to context, and the need for new churches. If an existing church refuses to operate in the 21st century and instead opts to operate in whatever previous decade, let them, but lead them to at least do it with excellence, because then they might even bring in unchurched people within those older generations, ie. their peers. In the meantime, we need to be starting new churches to reach new generations in new and often out-of-the-box ways. Why force that on an existing congregation that doesn’t welcome it? We’ll be much more effective getting out there and doing it where it’s most needed.

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