While checking out the Twitter feed for the United Methodist Church General Conference session, I read a tweet that posed the question, “What model of church should we save?”
With only 140 characters to use, the question did not provide any more depth than that…
However, I found myself asking the questions, “Doesn’t the idea of picking a ‘model of church’ to save sort of miss the point?”
Too often, we reduce the Church down to a style of worship, a form of theology, a system of organization…and we miss the point.
Church isn’t really about any particular “model” other than the Way of Jesus. And, it’s my considered opinion that the Church hasn’t had a great track record of following the Way of Jesus as we wrestle with worship styles, theological debates, and organizational structures. We allow these things to interfere with and sidetrack us from following the Way.
Too many “church folks” spend too much time debating which theology is “right”, which “style” of worship is superior, which “system” is better, and numerous non-essentials that they forget what the Way of Jesus looks like.
We allow our diversity of theological perspectives to divide us…rather than celebrating that people can have unique views on a variety of topics and still be on the journey with God…with the same goal of bringing about a Kingdom reality on earth as it is in heaven.
Shouldn’t we celebrate the fact that you and I can disagree on non-essentials, but still be following the Way of Jesus?
Hasn’t the Church spent enough time trying to convince people that you have to believe everything exactly the same way?
Years ago, I was in a room with Doug Pagitt as he challenged us to share our dreams for the Church. As I read questions about “what model of the church should we save”, I find myself dreaming for the Church once again…
I dream of a Church where we unite to celebrate our diversity.
I dream of a Church where questions are not only “okay”, but are encouraged.
I dream of a Church where people are encouraged to think.
I dream of a Church where the hungry are fed.
I dream of a Church where the naked are clothed.
I dream of a Church where the sick and imprisoned are visited and cared for.
I dream of a Church where the enemy is truly loved.
I dream of a Church that turns the other cheek.
I dream of a Church that understands the Way of Jesus in not simple or easy.
I dream of a Church that embraces peace.
I dream of a Church that embodies love.
I dream of a Church that truly has “open hearts, open minds, and open doors.”
I dream of a Church that does not discriminate based on race, sexuality, or socio-economic issues.
I dream of a Church that is inclusive, rather than exclusive.
I dream of a Church that takes the Way of Jesus seriously.
I dream of a church that demonstrates the Way of Jesus.
I dream of a Church that works for justice in our communities and in our world.
I dream of a Church that cares for the “least of these.”
I dream of a Church that cares for the orphan and the widow.
I dream of a Church that is known for its fruit, rather than its scandals.
What dreams do you have for the Church?