Friday, February 23, 2007

Smaller Contexts II

I believe another factor that is pushing the Church into a smaller form is cynicism. It is an example of how a negative can unveil a positive. A cynic is one who appears to not care about anything, but I deem it’s just the opposite. People who are cynical are simply wounded people. At the core of the cynic’s heart is a longing and passion that stings, so it gets anesthetized by sarcastic remarks and actions. One does not have to look far to find cynicism. And in some regards it makes sense to be cynical. What can one really believe in anymore? Where are politics taking us today? Any news outlet or talk show reveals evidence of further divisiveness and distrust of those is in control. What about business? The Enron Scandal is a case in point. There might be a million good companies out there, but it only takes one example like this to create a generation who thinks anything corporate is equivalent with evil. Even Bill Clinton’s escapade helped define for them what was sex and what wasn’t. This is where the Church As We Know It needs to be aware. That drive to build a bigger and better facility so we can get all the people under one roof might backfire someday. That new sanctuary may have been built on the money of the parents of the future generation, but will that next generation want to sustain all that brick and mortar? If the Church As We Know It continues to pattern itself after a business model, and its leaders continue to immerse themselves with marketing strategies and keep worrying about who moved their cheese, they will create a form for which a cynical generation will be suspect and not want to have any part of it. It will be in the smaller context that people will be able to see past marketing images and funky websites and find community, the one thing the heart of the cynic longs for. Sermon themes, rock and roll praise bands and pod casts are all fine aspects, but what percentage of our energy is going to be used to sustain those things? If that number out weighs the attention given to the smaller context, I think it might be a waste of time.

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