Do we have the courage to make the changes that Christian communities need? Sometimes I don’t. #ylmLIVE
— Sandy Kathleen (@sandykathleen) October 16, 2012
This is a quote I picked to start with. Mainly because I think Sandy’s response “Sometimes I don’t.” rings so true for me. I can often times get caught up in the world of criticism too easily. I’m not sure if this is because in seminary we were encouraged to brave the criticism of our own doing and rethink things, or if being in ministry in one spot it is easy to become critical.
So I think I tweeted the above comment with the idea being, that church doesn’t have the courage to change. Again using this critical lens it was easy to post this and think, yep, I know the Church needs to change, but the Church doesn’t know it needs to change. And to some degree I think this is true. I think the Church has long held onto things that we need to prune away, but “because we have always done it this way” it is hard to change anything or get rid of anything. Nevertheless, I think I missed an important part of this quote, what is my role.
As Sandy so eloquently stated, I think I fall into that realm as well. There are things in my own ministry, that when I start to think about changes, I don’t have the energy or courage to change them. Change takes a lot of energy and time. I’m comfortable in my routine and to add something as big as change to that routine, would mean more energy and time.
Did I mention I’m comfortable in my routine? As in I can easily prepare what I need to in a week without having a lot of stress, which in the past 4 years has been not too often. I enjoy the “extra time” I’m able to spend with my family on my day off. (Which my wife would attest that in the past I have not had a “day off” on a regular basis.) I’ll be honest, this is a selfish view.
The courage to change is easier said than done. Change takes time, conversations, listening, energy, planning, understanding and vulnerability. These things are hard.
But if I’m not willing, as a worker in the Church and as someone invested in its mission, to take on this burden of change and instead just make statements and posts about how the Church is dying or becoming an afterthought, who will?
So this post is me taking a stand against my own criticism of the Church. I’m hoping I have the courage to continue the journey of change, even if the change is small and regulated to only my small piece of the ministry I have “control” over. Nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction and something I’m extremely excited for!
Stay tuned for a follow-up piece on what this change may or may not look like. In the mean time…
Do you have the courage to change? Have you read You Lost Me? What are your thoughts?