The questions flood in… Why do we do church the way we do? Why do we take communion? Why do we need a sermon? Why do we all sit in pews or face the front or have microphones? Can we ask questions? Can we talk back? For what purpose do we stand when we sing and sit down when we are done… on cue? Why is it that some people clap their hands and some people put them in their pockets? Why do we pass around an offering plate? How is it that we have come to be this way?
Many of us will have very different answers to all of these questions and so many other questions as well. We know why we do what we do and we feel there are quite good reasons for doing so. Many of our rituals and customs work very well for us, as we have grown up with them and find comfort in knowing that it will be the same, or similar, next week.
But for a person on the outside, looking in… a person who has not grown up in the church, and in fact, would rather have nothing to do with “church,” these practices and rituals are like an alien planet. “How could I fit there?” one might ask. “Why would I even think twice about going to a place that does all these things that are so removed from my normal life?” I must say I tend to agree.
Before any of you think that I am suggesting throwing out these things that many hold dear, relax… Traditional church works for many and that is good. An increasing number of people though, are finding that it does not work. Let’s face it… the culture is moving faster than we are. Some of us are called to think creatively about how we might jump ahead and meet people where they are.
Our Sunday evening Gathering will be discussing, questioning, and wondering together some of these many questions. I’ll also be blogging regularly around these questions as well. I hope that we might, together find a way to be intentional about ALL that we do together and have reasons for doing what we do. If we don’t, why do them?