These are people who have heard from someone (who heard from someone else) what we are starting and have email or called me for more information. As I look back on the last 6 months, I have had calls/emails from Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, Alaska & Arkansas. All these were United Methodists (both Lay and Clergy) and all wanted to find out more about house churches, saying almost universally that they knew there had to be more ways to be church.
This speaks to me of a wider movement of change that is happening. Everyday people are realizing that we need some additional models for the church to move forward in new ways for new people. Most everyone involved in this work is searching for a new way in a very different time.
Today I was watching a video of an interview with Daniel Pink on his 2006 book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future.” While a business book, I think what he says is powerful for us as he shares what skills we all need to have for the new world. They are:
Design – more than function but beauty, how things work, feel, connect
Story – the narrative – not the argument or a list, but the story
Symphony – Seeing all the pieces, connecting the dots,
Empathy – connecting with others and their story, intuition, emotion
Play – humor, light-heartedness, joy
Meaning – life’s purpose, meaning beyond individuals to a greater whole.
As I listened to Pink, I got a strong sense that this would be a good list for Christians who are engaged in local faith communities to consider. My experience is that when we do these well, we move the mission of God and God’s people forward. But when we don’t do all these we find ourselves stuck and confused. Each one of these 6 is part of the way forward for us in this new time and place.
“Design” especially jumped out at me as I see the struggle churches have with aging structures & outdated modes of communication. Sadly, even when we think we have got it, we often do not, as I saw recently at a local church which had made the jump to slides in worship but they were, as one youth put it, “trying too hard to be cool.” Several of the slides featured were just plain Halloween creepy.
I am going to be working this month on the aspect of story. One baby step I took today was to put out feelers to see if those we are already working with (either with training or support) would share a bit of their story as they jump into this new venture. This ministry is rich with stories of new ways of being church and I think those stories would encourage others and might enable us to see God’s movement even in a simple house church.
Grace & Peace–