Earlier today two articles were published on blogs. I think they both offer some light and a chance for some discussion about our churches.
The first article is “Stop Complaining About Sunday Morning Sports” by Keith Anderson. In this article he reflects on the continued lament I hear all the time, “We used to have families, before the hockey rink opened Sunday mornings.”
The second article was written by the moderator of the United Church of Canada called, “We’re All in the Same Boat“, a reflection on his experience at the Canadian Council of Churches and discovering that many of our denominations are struggling with the same issues of age, money and building maintenance.
What I take from both articles is that when we continue to focus on doing things “the same way we always have” is that we become completely disconnected with the world around us. I would argue this is no longer an assumption, this is fact. We have become completely disconnected and don’t know how to reconnect.
So, with a number of our denominations now putting “everything on the table” in an effort to find ways in which to support our 100+ year old church structures (building, governance, and political) what should we be learning?
We should be learning the world changed.
We should be learning we haven’t changed.
We should be learning we are now into our third generation with a society that sees no need for the church except for the family honoured traditions of hatching, matching and dispatching (baptisms, weddings, funerals) with no relevance at any other point in life.
We should be learning we’ve left Jesus at the altar and forgotten to take him with us when we leave the church.
We should be learning that Jesus can be just as effective, no wait… more effective when we become his representatives in the rinks, on the playing fields, in the malls, at our workplaces, on our streets, in our foodbanks, in our schools, everywhere we find people.
Why should we expect people to come to our church when we don’t go to them?
Do you go to parties without an invitation from someone you have a relationship with?
Jesus spent his time walking the roads and sharing his message, healing, working with those in need, and people responded by following him. He didn’t put up a tent and wait inside for people to come.
It is time.
It is time for the church to reclaim our evangelistic beginnings. It is time for us to show the world how Jesus changes lives.
And it happens not in our churches, but in the communities/streets/homes around us.