This month I want to spend a bit of time sharing my thoughts to the church. As a young(ish) clergy person I have some ideas after observing the state of the church over the last 10 years. Frankly, to be honest, if I wasn’t clergy, I’m not sure I’d be going to church.
So over the next few weeks I’m going to explore 6 thoughts, or suggestions, I have for the church. This isn’t targeting any one particular denomination or congregation since many of us are struggling in similar ways.
So let us begin with my first piece of advice for the church.
Forget The Past
Seriously! Forget it! No, not forever, but can we let it go for a little while? I know that the church was once the place to be on Sunday morning. I know that everyone used to go to church. I know the place was overflowing and had a Sunday School of 2000 children (*actual numbers may vary) every week. To be honest, I’m very sorry I missed it. It sounds like it was an amazing time to be a Christian since everyone who was anyone was at church. I also know the church has a wonderfully rich history in our communities that has to be celebrated and held up.
But times have changed.
And so must we.
The problem with holding onto the past so dearly is that it does a wonderful job at squashing hope for the future. If someone comes up with an idea, it gets weighed against the past and almost always loses. This constant reminding of how great and wonderful the past was, and how hopeless we are right now really puts a damper on the creativity and excitement around new ideas.
Some of us have some ideas that we are really excited about. So instead of saying it never worked before, maybe encourage us to try it and maybe it’ll work this time. If not, so what! We’ve learned something and can move onto the next idea. We’ve got lots of them.
So my first piece of advice is to stop bringing up the past in such a way that is hinders our ability to go forward.
This is a good first step. Thanks!
Coming up in part 2… Explore!