Sometimes I over think ideas. Other times, I don’t think about ideas enough.
For the past week or so, I have been thinking about the future of the Church. Obviously, there is a decent ending. However, at the moment, we are entrusted with being the Church…to everyone. This has got me thinking two different things (part 2 will be shared next week — and it is the complete opposite of part 1):
1.) I would rather live with regret of actions than regret of thoughts.
I think that many times we stop ourselves from doing something because we fear regret. We don’t say what we think we should say because we would rather conform than stand up to the cultural norm in the Church. As young ministers, we fear what we really think may disqualify us from a job at the current popular church. So instead of doing or saying what we think, we keep it stored up in the back of our mind and say it is “youthful immaturity.”
I have done this a lot. I have been told this a lot as well. In some aspects, it is true. We, as young people, will many times have a youthful idea that is obviously idiotic. We will say things that we regret and do things that we regret. Our elders will tell us to not say or do particular things because “we will understand when we are older.” So instead of doing, we just sit and think…and then we stop doing completely.
I have heard a lot of ideas from youth about what they would love to see the Church become.
They want to see the Church give more money than it spends on the interior decorations.
They want to see the Church stop worrying about expanding to a bigger size and focus on expanding the Kingdom at large.
They want to see the Church to become more transparent.
They want to see the Church move away from feeling like there always has to be a sermon every Sunday.
They want to see the Church change.
They think the Church should change.
And we call them “youthful,” “immature,”and “unrealistic.” Instead of pushing them toward working on a solution, we squelch their drive.
Why do we do that? I think it is fear. We fear what change would do to the Church.
So this might mean we stop spending millions of dollars on ourselves to buy iPads, lighting equipment, or a new facility, and instead give that money away.
Instead of a traditional sermon, it is just an hour of silence with a Scripture projected on the screen.
Instead of speaking from an elevated platform, we speak from the floor, because we are not higher than others.
Instead of keeping “normal office hours,” we go into the community and voluntarily give our time to different organizations.
Instead of having 3 hour meetings about what to call a new sermon series or youth program, we meet with 3 different people for an hour each.
What would happen if we lost the structure of the Church? Chaos…right? Chaos is bad. Nothing happens in chaos. Creation definitely doesn’t happen in chaos…or at least we like to tell ourselves that.
I would rather regret actions than thoughts. I would rather do than wish I did. I would rather regret what I did than compliment myself for not doing (of course, all of this has to do with the direction of the Church — please do not interpret it to give into your carnal urges).
The more and more I look at things, the better chaos sounds. God moves in chaos. Perhaps the Church is so structured that chaos can’t occur. Even the most cutting edge Church works within structure. Perhaps the best thing would be to shake things up…give into the “youthful immaturity.”
I want to see a church of anarchy (okay…not really). I am asking that we converse about new ideas for the Church. We have beat the structure into the ground. We have beat the dead horse enough. Stop fearing that your bubble will burst. Stop fearing that what you are comfortable with will be no more. Maybe there won’t be a service that begins with worship, moves to communion, moves to offering, moves to sermon, moves to invitation, and then ends. Would it be so bad if we changed things a bit? Is faith so shaky that you will fall if part of the structure is removed?
I wish we could stop fearing what the youth propose: chaos. Chaos because it is outside of what we call “normal.” Stop squelching the youth because you fear what they may say/do. Live a life that regrets actions rather than thoughts.