As a participant of the Institutional church the meeting inevitable goes like this. A new idea is presented. Said idea is then run through the wringer, and out comes a little dryer version, with a little less risk, a little more stability and predictability, but still riskier than usual. From there the discussion will turn to it being a good idea, yet being impossible to do. We have not do it before, how are we going to pay for it, what if it doesn't work, all code words for I do not want to risk trusting God. Some might say that is too harsh, yet the reality remains, we shrink back from the possible for the sake of safe and known.
For centuries the church has been locked in the safe and comfortable place of Christendom. Especially in the Western world, Christianity has been at the center of the society and culture. The result is a church which has become impotent. Funny how our struggle to maintain power and control has resulted in losing both. This Christendom setting has fostered safe and measured communities, and when someone steps out of the mold the price is usually pretty high. How do we break away from the pattern? Many have chosen to leave the Institutional church behind for something else, often not having anything to do with the church, or even a journey with Christ. Is the another option?
In the Christendom era the church is trapped in, the change will not be a top down, or reformation from the top, process. It must be something from within. I resist using the term grassroots as Christendom has co-opted the term and rendered it nearly useless. Rather it will come from people who respectfully as possible push past the stagnation. People who are willing to take a flying leap. To risk big. As more people begin to risk stepping outside the normal, the always has been, something profound happens. Like it or not institutions are forced to deal with the decision to change, or die.
Now it would be easy to write this missive and remain stagnant. This would be exactly how Christendom would like me, and us to respond. Through prayer, discernment, in the midst of fear and hesitation, the time has come to jump. Actually we are well past the time to jump, but I think it is time to actually clear the edge. I am not sure what that means, and I am not sure where it will take me, but I cannot allow myself to remain captive. I must move forward.
I would invite any and all who are reading this to offer their thoughts, ideas and response the the above. Additionally, I wonder if I am the only one who is ready. Please share the stories of how God is pushing you to the edge.