Because the faster you eat the much.*
To anyone still trying to figure that out, it is not supposed to make sense. The reason for using it as a post title is that is where I am at with the whole church deal. It just doesn’t make sense. I am not too angry, bitter, or hurt to participate. I just don’t see the point of playing that game anymore.
In Bob’s post about his experience at Saddleback, he describes an attitude that I am struggling with about church. It is so corporately self-centered. When a church is large (ie successful?), there is this mentality that they need to extend their success to a greater scope, and that is equated with extending the gospel. But rather than impart and release, it is ALWAYS franchise and own. Describing this imperialistic tendency, Bob says:
Church is this campus that we’ve put so much dang effort and money into. Church is also the messages we beam into the school auditoriums of those less-privileged folks who don’t live in comfortable commuting distance.
We experienced something similar when the church we were attending announced that it wanted to provide satellite churches in many of the small communities around here that “don’t have a church.” The reality is that most of these communities do have a church, but they don’t have a McChurch. So instead of supporting whatever work is already happening within the community, this church will swoop in with a satellite venue that will allow the people of this underprivileged community to associate with the Mother Church.
Internetmonk had a post about the Sunday service and the unchallenged belief that the Sunday service is church, period. He states that the worship service is not a disciple making process but rather produces passive consumers of church culture. His question:
How did corporate worship, which we now focus on with the majority of our time, resources and efforts as Christians, fit into Jesus’ process of creating a Kingdom movement?
Maybe it’s a phase. Maybe I will get over it. I have tried to maintain an uncritical view of church in its many expressions and to appreciate that God is at work in the various congregations.
For the moment, I am so disillusioned with the end results of the organizational and programmatic aspects of church that I cannot seem to see beyond that.
My husband and I were talking about it the other day, and I asked him, “What if we really are too far gone? What if we can’t go back to that? Surely doing nothing isn’t the alternative?”
“We won’t always be doing nothing.”
“So what will we do when we are done doing nothing.”
There you have it, our plan. When we are done doing nothing, we are going to do something.
I know that learning to live missionally in ordinary life isn’t doing nothing, but I can’t seem to get rid of the feeling that there should be something more intentional.
Missionality is DISCOVERED when a church (a people) lives out values and God plants a vision. And a vision from God will always be a picture of the world and its’ redemption, not a picture of a wonderfully “effective” church.
The undefinedness of this has bothered me, not in a frantic way but more in a nagging, wondering sort of way. Today these words by Peter Rollins made perfect sense to me.
I am saying that not knowing what ought to be done is to already know what ought to be done. In other words, ‘I do not know what I should do and I must step out and do it’! This is not then some commitment to do ‘church’ better by either improving it or starting a new one. For this reconfiguring will still be taking place in the very waters that sustains it. It is not a saying ‘no’ to one known in favour of another known, rather it involves saying ‘no’ to one known in favour of the unknown.
Have you figured it out? What makes sense?
*(I couldn’t remember the answer to this, so I had to call my husband on his cell phone, “Honey, I forgot, why are an orange?”)