Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cancel Church Challenge (great stuff is happening)

In my original post about the Cancel Church Challenge I probably seemed brash, obnoxious, and arrogant... well that might be because I am brash, obnoxious and arrogant. But it was also because I was a bit ignorant, and a bit inspired. Now ignorance and inspiration can sometimes make people seem a bit jerkish, so please forgive me. And I really mean that, please forgive me.

I really do believe that this is an inspiration that I need to follow up on. For years I have been practicing a discipleship that sees worship as a daily laying down of our lives for others, following the path of the cross. And I think that this idea of challenging our conceptions of what worship is, and what the body should be about, is crucial to us being the church in our world.

But what I have learned the last two days is that many churches have already heard this call, and are practicing this idea. That even some of the biggest churches like Saddleback, have been doing this for years. This makes me happy, I am trying to get some people to post on their experiences, and ideas for the future. I am trying to put together resources so that others can join in this idea, and we can live a more holistic worship as part of our discipleship.

Another thing I have learned is that I may have been a little bit unclear about the purpose of this challenge. It isn't just to do social justice work. Many churches do social justice work every day, of every week. Many churches are doing work feeding people, clothing people, sheltering people, providing health care. My challenge is to call churches that aren't doing these things to dip their toe in and start growing in this direction, but more importantly, to challenge the idea of worship and fellowship in all churches. The idea is to see these activities not as addendum to our church program, but as part of our worship and discipleship, to move past the hearing of the word, and singing of God's lordship, to the actual practice of both as our communion with each other. I hope that makes sense.

I know I am banging the same drum, over and over, but I really feel, in the midst of my being, this is my word for the church right now, please pardon my immaturity as I seek to express that. And also, please pardon my "marketing" as I just want people to hear.


1 comment:

Final Anonymous said...

A few years ago I got a call from a pastor of a baptist church start-up in the area inviting me to bring my kids to a Mom's Night Out they had organized for single moms.

I had never been to this church, never heard of it, and most importantly was no longer single! But I returned the call anyway and was impressed with their vision. It was as professionally organized as possible and there was no conversion attempt on the children, just an attempt to help single parents in the community.

Another time, when gas prices first rose, they went to a local gas station for the day and "bought down" people's gas to the price it had been.

I don't agree with their doctrine (ie, it's okay to drink now, but God forbid those women lead) but they seem awfully creative in their mission orientation.