Many people are tired of doing church in the same old way (point A). Some seem to appreciate the way we are doing church here (point B), and wonder how they can get from point A to point B.
First of all, I want to assert that if these people moved here and became a part of our church, they would in soon realize that there is nothing spectacular about it. There is nothing to boast and nothing to reproduce. Like I continually tell people, I spend most of my time deconstructing, preventing things from happening, and resisting success. I am constantly reprimanded for our church being self-sabotaging in that we continually seem to undermine strategies that might guarantee some measure of stability and even growth. Believe me, there are times we would love successful growth with its stability and all that it provides, but when we are at my best, we resist these temptations.
What I can say is that, as a church, we are pretty much stripped bare of goal, vision and agenda. We can say, for the most part, that we don't coerce, manipulate, or control people. People are free to come and go as they are and as they please. It is a completely voluntary assemblage with no expectations placed upon it. We do not prescribe beliefs or lifestyles. If people come with agendas or some people develop agendas, they don't seem to last. Their sense of what a church "should be" gets frustrated.
Lisa and I have been married for almost 30 years. We have a rich relationship. If other couples who wanted to have a good relationship came to us to learn how, we could give some pointers. We could even allow them to observe us for a while (within limits). But I'm confident that in time they would start asking, "What's the big deal?" There's no magic or tricks or formulas. It's mostly mundane commitment and tenacious hard work. Same with our church community. There's no magic, no flash, no tricks, no formulas, no big attraction. Our worship music is raw and unprofessional. The preaching and teaching is unrefined, crude and informal. Our community is made up of a diverse mixture of regular people. We aren't a big deal.
Therefore, even though you might want to deconstruct your church, it ain't pretty. However, I think it is worthwhile and even necessary if we are to become more free and more human, and if we want to discover what true community and love is. So, I'm thinking I might blog for a while on how our church has deconstructed over the years. It is a wild and fascinating story, and many feel it is a story that needs to be told. So stay tuned!