Sunday, January 20, 2008

But a mere shell of what it used to be...

Former shellI would guess one out of my one readers here already knows that I used to serve on staff at what churchites like to call a local body here in Aurora CO. For almost five years the pastor and I labored to "build the church". I drove by day before yesterday after dropping a friend off in the neighborhood. As I understand it, the group that meets there has changed quite a bit, and several times since we were there. The first thought that went through my mind, knowing what I do about the last fifteen years of it's history was what a shell it is of what it was before.

Outside of some external cosmetic updates, and some minor indoor remodeling efforts, today, eleven years later the place still looks just like it did when Julie and I arrived there almost fifteen years ago. To those passing by, nothing but the weekly quote sign changes, cars come in and go out, and the language congregation meeting there has changed. Other than that, it's the same place it used to be.

And yet, as I processed these thoughts it occurred to me that it was a mere shell back then, looking just as it does today. What was different was the community that gathered in that shell. A community of people who were living out what they believed to be the Kingdom life. A life which required them to spend consistent time inside the walls of the shell and then "go out" to try to bring others inside.

Since those days there have been several generations of community gathering there with some long standing threads connecting all the generations. Some of the relationships which germinated inside those walls continue today. Geography has changed over the decade and more, the shell itself has not, I wonder how many of the lives which were part of the community through those decades are different today... or if they are merely living out the motions they parroted in another empty shell?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

UGH! No wonder people look at "us" the way they do.

This quote was in an article used to bait me by my good friend Andrew. It worked. The article is in the Tennessean titled "Church brands draw members: Faiths market themselves by taking on names that define their beliefs, message"
And for a new church, he added, brands like McDonald's are the competition.

My response: Perhaps you are "selling" the wrong thing then!