i feel like we're changing

I feel like my church is changing. It used to be a tight fellowship. The whole church had a commune feel to it. If you were a part of the church, it had an all-or-nothing aura about it. If you signed up, you were signing up for 100% commitment. There are pros and cons to this. One pro was those involved were very committed, making for incredible energy and vision. A con was that it tended to stratify people into different levels of committment. In a nutshell, it used to be that a system was imposed upon the people. The leadership s expectations were laid upon the people as to how they were to develop spiritually. Now, we basically have Sunday morning gathering where worship opportunities are provided, studying the Bible is provided, and prayer is provided. We also provide this for children. That s it! If people want more, it is available, such as small-groups. But it is not imposed. Only provided. Basically, there are three stages of growth opportunities provided: general (Sunday mornings); basic (study groups, task groups, small groups, and impromptu fellowships); and focused (one on one spiritual direction and counseling for those who request it). But anyone can grow with or without any of these. These are only available provisions we feel are in keeping with human liberty and rights. I make it sound like we have it all down. We don t. I m basically guessing. I m not describing it well. But the inability to label it is part of the paradigm because it is no longer about a prescription for processing people. It s now about providing room, inclusion, and opportunity for people to process themselves in cooperation with the Spirit. It used to feel tight. Now it feels loose. If I were a control-freak (and I have been accused of that), I could be freaking out about this. But I'm not. Space, room, freedom and choice are my tag words now.

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