25 January 2012
the aimlessly ambling church
This may seem initially contradicting, but it is bound to work for it is the outworking of creating a self-defining system of church life that fixes everything else the church has been doing - right or wrong - for the days between us and the apostles.
Step One: Secure a Pastor. One of the problems with pastors is that many of them actually want to be the spiritual leaders in a church. There is obviously something wrong with such self-centered hubris, thus we cannot trust anyone who claims to be called into full-time ministry. Probably, these are men and women who simply don't want to go to a "real job" and have become a pastor to fill their own desires of self-aggrandizement. Solution: Wait for a suitable person to wander into the church building (perhaps looking to use the bathroom, needing a box of food, or who thought this was a Presbyterian church). Secure an ankle bracelet around them and inform them that this is their new vocation. They don't come with the baggage of biblical training, church leadership, lofty seminary ideals like praying, etc. In fact, they will be submissive to the church leadership as a whole since they didn't even ask to be the pastor . . . and they don't have a key to the ankle monitor.
Step Two: Worship Services (or Not). This becomes a bit tricky since we all feel as though Christians should have a weekly gathering. (Well, those of us who have yet to discover that weekly church is simply something to do when your weekend is out of other options.) To gather or not? Hmm. And, if there is the decision to have music during said service then we should ensure that no music that existed before our church was started is used - simply because there was no concept of proper Christianity until this congregation was established, so how could any of them be correct in their perspective? Solution: Weekly gatherings happen whenever there are people who show up. One would think that the pastor would always be at the service, but the anklet doesn't work that way: You see, this is an aimless and ambling church so the pastor is given the freedom to explore his/her own spirituality and not required to be at the church. In fact, we would prefer he not passively demand our presence with his presence. Unless we are there, then the pastor should be there.
Step Three: A Prayerful Place. It is clear that everybody wants prayer. Unfortunately, the act of praying can become long, tired and boring; nobody is really interested in praying. Solution: The aimlessly ambling church will be a place of prayerful expression, though we will not infringe on anyone's personal praying habits. Whatever prayers are satisfactory for the individual are acceptable, for it isn't as though there are particular rules for praying (i.e., no guidelines or specific teachings). Also, corporate prayer gatherings will not be planned, for groups that pray together are probably cliques that are subverting the unity of the church anyway.
Step Four: Small Groups. Small groups have been the conventional wisdom of those seeking to go against conventional wisdom in traditional church for some time. However, the subdivision of the church into groups has often been linked to factions within the body, unless they are groups getting together to watch the Super Bowl. Solution: We will neither encourage nor discourage small groups in the aimlessly ambling church. Either way we are providing direction, and we are already committed (in an uncommitted way) not to do that. Remember, we are true rebels . . . and nothing is more rebellious than doing nothing to achieve everything.
Conclusion. The tradition of the church is bogus. We all know that. But replacing it with a different tradition under the guise of non-traditional is also bogus. So, we're upping the ante and going non-traditional on the non-traditional.
Maybe this will work.
Or maybe we could go in the exact opposite direction, putting purpose and drive and intention to all that we say and do.
Or maybe we could just be the church instead.