Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Loving Persistence of Bamboo

My neighbor has a rather large clump of bamboo next to the fence that separates our yards. Have you ever seen what a bamboo shoot can do? It's a pretty strong wood. As it grows slowly and deliberately, it is able to force off planks of wood from the fence. Imagine that. You put up the best fence you can to protect yourself, or to hide behind, and this little shoot of bamboo works persistently and patiently until an opening is broken in the fence. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cracker Barrel on Vacation

It has been "tradition" to meet up with family on our way to family vacation. This year we made the stop on our own. Everyone is getting breakfast but me. Hey, it's 1:30 already.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Is it time for a new paradigm for the church?

"In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete." 
— Richard Buckminster Fuller

This quote was posted on Facebook by Join the Coffee Party Movement. Their context is in the political world. My context is a little different, so I hear these words in a different setting. I have been a supply pastor for a variety of churches over the past several years, and I have attended a couple churches with some regularity. There is a common struggle in the christian church to be relevant in today's world. We start with the inherited faith of our parents and grandparents, along with their style of worship. We have tweaked the worship service, trying to be responsive to changes in the world. Some of the tweaking has been to create "contemporary worship" with band instruments and more contemporary music. But the style of worship is still with people in pews as an "audience" and a message that is delivered by the "professional." Our concept of the community of the church seems to have changed little. We seek people to become members and to take part in programs and activities, some for fellowship some for outreach/mission. We are focus on "the three B's, buildings, budgets, and butts." We value larger membership churches as the one's that are more successful, and we depend on a full-time, seminary educated clergy who receives a fairly nice salary and set of benefits. Is it time for a new paradigm (and not just a simple little "paradigm shift" that has been popular in recent years)? If we were to see a new paradigm emerge, where do we see evidence of it beginning? What does it look like? What are the prevailing factors that will impact this new way of being church to one another? Admittedly, I have many more questions than answers, but I am interested in the conversation.