Here’s another from Mark Scandrette in his book Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love:
I long to see the church of Jesus Christ manifesting the love that we were made to give and receive. I dream of a time when groups in every community became centers that practice and teach the Way, training people to do everything that Jesus did and taught. I’m convinced that modest, incremental changes to ‘normal’ Christianity or ‘church as usual’ will not get us where we need to go.
As leaders, dreamers and visionaries we need to lead not just by what we say, but by how we subversively live out the alternatives. Many in our generation have been free to critique what is, but few of us have had the courage to enact changes we can imagine. Some of us need to step out and humbly risk more radical steps of obedience. As Wendall Berry memorably said, ‘If change is to come…it will have to come from the margins…It was the desert, not the Temple, that gave us the prophets.’ What seems dangerous, heretical or impossible today might not seem so tomorrow.
So much of our lives is designed around minimizing risks, avoiding pain and managing chaos and uncertainties that are inherent to the human condition. We are tempted to look to governments, corporations or social structures (including religion) to give us the certainty and security we crave. Yet the One in who we live warns us that it is foolish to live cautiously (Matthew 25:14-30) and calls us away from the safety and conventions of our kingdoms into the mystery and adventure of the kingdom of love. Those who inherit this kingdom do so with reckless abandon, not looking back, and betting it all on the pearl of great price, to risk being fully alive.
So, the questions I’d like to ask you are:
1) Do you agree or disagree that “modest, incremental changes” to “church as usual” will not get us where we need to go? Why or why not?
2) If the “fringes” or “margins” of our Tribe initiate change, what do you think the “status quo’s” reaction be? What could be done to keep splits or disunity to a minimum from both the fringe and the current leaders?
3) Why do you think we ideally love the idea of a life that doesn’t “minimize risks, avoid pain, and manages chaos/uncertainty” but rarely step our a be “fully alive?” What could you do do personally step out a little more?
Welp, that should get your thinking cap working for this Monday morning! I’ll just be over here having my coffee while I wait to hear your thought, patrons!