I’m not sure exactly how I came across Jon Reid’s blog, and I find his statements sometimes challenging, repulsive and crude, or sometimes even both at the same time. He seems to be a muckraker of sorts in the matter of Christianity, and I think every generation needs one or two. It helps us to see where we are and challenges our thinking so that we can further solidify our stance. Those who fear such things (setting aside new converts to Christianity) likely prefer to be blind, segregated, and likely unwilling to consider change for the good anyway.
Leaving that topic, I saw the video on his page that really spoke to me, cuz I’m a creative. I like to do things off the cuff. I like freedom to dream and to make dreams happen – to experiment with just about anything that you put in front of me. I don’t like numbers unless they are calculations for the use of keyframes in Adobe After Effects. And while I enjoy order, I like to bend it a bit. Yeah, I am the right-brained guy who comes up with the occasional off-the-wall statement in a staff meeting when discussion gets too dry (ho-hum), but I can also turn a basic concept or spark of thought into something that people will talk about for a long time after.
Here’s where I think that Jon is on the money: we tend to limit God to a specific program that is performed every week in church life. There’s a couple songs, then a prayer, then time for an offering, another song, a sermon, possible invitation, etc — that’s life every Sunday for Western church-goers. This speaks of boredom to me. It also says that we often plan God out of church. People show up expecting a program, rather than people showing up expecting to see God. Where’s the creativity in that? Yes, the musicians and orators may do well, but what about everyone else in the room? The video cameras in the room capture a group of glassy-eyed spectators attending out of duty. They sing their songs, give their tithes and offerings, then set in their pews with blank stares until they are dismissed. Duty and guilt-ridden attendance are failures with awful consequences in a post-modern age when there is so much potential in celebrating the true life that is instilled in believers when they are given the freedom to celebrate their relationship with God together. (Yow! That’s a loaded statement!)
If it were up to me, I’d be encouraging people to interact in the service.
- Oh, so-and-so has a need we should address as a church body? let’s gather together in prayer for her, over the Southernly polite, Bless your heart. We’ll be in prayer for you.
- Hey, take out that blank sheet of paper we provided in your bulletin and jot down a few notes this morning (for the left-brained), or draw a picture expressing your thoughts on the concept we’re discussing, snap a picture on your phone, and post it on our web page.
- Some of our youth were working on a song that speaks specifically to the sermon this morning; let them share it with you.