The Boring Static Church

I made a comment to my wife some time ago like this. “I look up and down our block and for the most part we are all the same. Go to work the same time, come home at the same time, haul kids around, indulge various hobbies, buy various trinkets to go in our homes, make payments,  go to bed, do it over the next day. Sounds kind of… boring”. But today as I was reading a few pages of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, it occurred to me our churches do something very similar. People gather on Sunday, have Mass or a service of some fashion, tell the folks stuff, pay the bills, roll out a new program, do it all again next week. This type of routine is not the making a great story, at least in my mind.

When I speak to various groups I work to convey that our parishes and churches need to be places people can fall in love with Jesus. I get around a bit and while I see many great people doing awesome things in the name of our Lord, that pocket of life is relatively small compared to the vast amount of pew setters that appear to be going through the motions. I imagine that last sentence is no revelation.

I receive many questions about to engage, get people involved in church, and other wise move parishioners to action. I think I know how. Write a better church story. For example, I know various parishes send money to a mission of some sort which is good. The problem is that just giving only money is a passive approach to ministry. Intent is good but a boring story. Sending money, then, organizing a group of people to go to the mission and help the people receiving the money, a better story. Writing a better church story can take on a variety of forms. Whatever the form is though, it must take a risk, it must cause a struggle for people to work through, it should challenge or even break the routine.

This is type of thinking may sound strange, but the things Jesus did while he was alive were considered by many as, strange.

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