Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Smaller contexts.

I used to attend a church of around 600 people in attendance on Sundays. During a leadership transition period, there was a fairly sizable exodus from this church to another larger church in town. Many of these people I know personally. Not one of them describe their feelings for the new place with words like, “I love it!” Instead, I hear statements like, “The preaching is good,” or “We really like the children’s program.” Or worst of all, “Yea, my wife likes it OK.” One guy I know who made the switch told me one Sunday he saw a friend from the previous church during the break between services. In the sea of people that resembles a cattle drive, he said to him in a loud voice over the drone of noise, “Oh, you’re coming here now, too? Isn’t this great? To leave a place where you don’t know anybody and come to a bigger place where you don’t know anybody?” The new guy didn’t catch his sarcasm right away. When will men get the idea that they don’t have to settle for that? Sunday morning stress and anxiety of getting up, getting the kids ready, trying to hold it all together on the way there, working your way like a salmon through the stream of people to get to the right place. The original memo of Sunday being a day of rest is must have gotten placed in the round file. Since leaving that world, my Sundays are much simpler now, much more relaxed, much more oriented around my family. My wife and I reconnect, drink rich, dark coffee, read the paper, have some time with our kids to talk about spiritual things and learn Scripture together. It really is a day of rest for us. The day I used to dread leading up during the week is now my favorite, as I think was its original intent. The Church of the Future will be gathered in smaller contexts simply because men will realize they can. Once they get over the fear that they are sinning or doing something wrong, they will find that doing so will lead to a more fruitful, enjoyable experience. All I needed was permission but I looked for it in the wrong place for the longest time; to the Church As We Know It. Of course it wasn’t going to give it to me. But I found one Source of Permission, and once I discovered it, I see it was there all along.


Ty Lee Wung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ty Lee Wung said...

Sorry I screwed up on the last one

It's happened Kev.

I've been sucked into the blogosphere.

Googled Bread and Cup to see if anything came up and came across this one too.

A couple questions...

1. What ideas do you have for youth?
My boss has a similar setup for church, but feels like the youth was where there was kind of a shortcoming. Like it was hard to engage his friends teenaged children. Any tips/ideas?

2. Where does this leave corporate worship in your vision?

3. Honestly what do you hope happens to the church as we know it?

4. It seems like some people make the "Switch" like they are going from a PC to a MAC. Sort of a what does this have to offer me? They go from church to church until somebody makes them upset. Sometimes it seems like it's a user error. I wonder if they expect something the church was never meant to do. Since the church has a responsibility to change when there's a problem, when does the responibility fall on the individual to change? Your thoughts?

I'm not one to stand in the way of a movement called by God. I just have some honest questions.
(See Acts 5:38-39)

Watchman said...

Mr Wung

In no way am I saying this new thing is complete. To me, the beauty of what is happening is that it is NOT defined, that it is being worked through by the individuals who believe change is coming and are willing to take the necessary steps to find and create the new wineskins.

Neither am I saying that the Church of the Future will be homogenous. I plan to write my thoughts on the diversity of the Church of the Future later.

To me, your questions are all very real, ones that have to be dealt with along the way. I guess I am trying to confront the bigger question first, and that is, "Am I willing to do whatever it takes to bring change for the sake of the future?"

Ty Lee Wung said...

I understand what you are saying.

I'll keep watching to see what you have to say about the bigger question.

One more thing... :)

Do you feel hesitant to overdefine certain aspects of this movement for fear that it will lead to bondage wrather than being liberating? It seems like the two major generations of today are fighting between structure and something that doesn't exactly have to be resolved or concrete.

Seems like both sides have positives and negatives

P.S. Just making sure you know this is Tyson :)
I've finally gotten around to using my computer again. I've got some new tunes for you.

Watchman said...

mr wung

this new church thing is kinda like planning to have kids. you'll never be ready, never have enough money saved, never be able able to know how to raise them. you first decide to have kids or not, then the rest you figure out along the way.

we do church simply with 7 to 8 people right now. will we be doing it that way a year from now? don't really know. what i do know is that we now feel the freedom to move and act upon what we see coming. life ebbs and flows, and so does church life, and I'm OK with that.

looking forward to hearing the new stuff. Fresh Bread, Vol I should be ready in a couple of weeks.