Thursday, May 04, 2006,8:20 PM
ReGathering journal cont.
The third session at the ReGathering revolved around the metaphor “letting go of jeans that no longer fit.” I found this particular image amusing and rather apropos to my post pregnancy state. The talk brought up instances of when people had to leave ministry positions for various reasons. My discussion group also focused on letting go of things that don’t fit within the church context itself.

We discussed how often we create ideals of what we think church is or what we want church to be. Those conceptions are not always a true representation of church or the best thing for the church. Sometimes we are comfortable with how we do things, but we need to always remember that our ways are not always God’s ways. I was intrigued how in this particular gathering this idea could be discussed from a variety of perspectives as an intellectual and not solely emotional concept. All too often the unbiblicalness or unholiness of an idea seems to rest on the accusers dislike of it. It’s the Christian cliché of the day to call whatever one dislike “unchristian.”

What was refreshing at this gathering was the willingness to take a step back and examine our preconceptions. The idea is to consider what the purpose of a church (and the church in general) is and therefore to consider if what we are doing aligns with that purpose. If something doesn’t align why are we doing it? Because it is comfortable and we have always done it that way? Because we won’t acknowledge a program has passed its peak and we don’t want to offend those who put so much time and energy into it? Because we read certain books and uncritically think that coffee, candles, and couches are cool? If things don’t fit the purpose of church then we need to let go. And yes – sometimes that means letting go of that particular thing and sometimes it means letting go of the church. God’s ways are not our ways and perhaps he just might have better things in store.

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