Sitting with a couple of friends. We like to talk about ideas. We were stretching every paradigm available to Kingdom constituents when one of them made a brilliant observation. I won't word it as well as he. But, here is a shot: "Are we speaking of evolution, or revolution?"
By this he was drawing our attention to how change happens in a congregation. If I, as pastor, am leading toward a more organic body--by plugging-in group life, and leading a separate house church--I am working with evolution. Teaching over time. Bending paradigms and tweaking habits.
However, if I take a congregation off in such a tangent that we desert the mission I was called to, and the congregation who called me to it, then I am pushing revolution. Should a revolutionary receive support from that which he or she is overthrowing? Hmmm.
I believe the church is changing, and desperately needs change. I believe it will look much more like the organic house church models, or perhaps like something we haven't imagined. However, I have been asked to teach, lead and love a very teachable, lead-able and lovable people. It is a joy to shepherd where I am.
On the other hand, as my Shepherd calls and leads, I must follow. I believe our faith is purer because of those who have stepped-away from institution and embraced the simple.
In the meantime, I'm grateful for our coffee conversation today. The wisdom shared there gives me sound direction as I continue to follow, lead and pray my way into a future I simply can't imagine. (Further proof that we really do need those around us.)
Grace and peace be with us as we follow the Loving Revolutionary.