Most of you by now have heard that I’ve written a book. And I’m sure you’ve become fully aware by my endless reminders that said book is dropping, well… today. As in, it’s available now. (For free until Tuesday so go get it!) But although some of you are aware of what kinds of things are in the book, and everyone has heard when, I thought it was important to tell you why I wrote it.
I’ve had these thoughts and dreams in my head and on my heart in various forms for nearly a decade. For the longest time, I thought I was an outlier and kept most of my thoughts to myself. I knew that I grew best in community, I learned best through open and honest communication, hated being lectured, grew weary of the constant call for volunteers and money that seemed to never end all while understanding as church staff that these things can’t function without more volunteers and money and this is why we can’t have nice things. I longed for a church that functioned the way we see in the New Testament- complete with trouble spots that required an apostle’s rebuke, certainly- but sharing in all things, rejoicing together, utilizing our various God-given gifts to benefit the body as a whole, and enjoying the favor of all the people.
See, we as Christians seem to miss that part. Somewhere along the way, we decided the best way to be known is to be against the world and decry the world being against us. But the early church in Acts 2 were loved by the general populous, even if they weren’t often understood.
What I wanted to write about, then, was my own personal observations from my time “behind the curtain”, as it were. There are a lot of old traditions and longstanding institutions that need closer scrutiny, and there’s a lot of decisions being made with good intentions but poor destinations. What I mean is, if you’re in your car and driving to Texas, you have the route planned out, the gas in the vehicle, and have it all packed with the necessities for the journey. But all of the planning, good driving, and good intentions you may have doesn’t help you if the entire time you think you’re headed to Washington, DC. And it doesn’t matter what you do- if you don’t stop and reroute (hey, that’s the definition of repentance, isn’t it?), you’re going to always, always end up in Texas. That is, unless you get a flat in Louisiana. But whatever.
Take a peek behind the curtain. Look into both how and why things are being done. Get a whiff of what the Bible says is most important. And then open your heart to dream of a church that could be.