Over the past several months I’ve found myself reading tons and tons of different books on “church movements”. If you look back on the past couple of decades you can see the “Seeker” movements and today you have the “Emergent” and others such as that.
At first I was really impressed with the emerging church, I thought that it might possibly be the future of the church, but now I’m not so sure. It was actually Don Miller that started my doubts, something he said in a “sermon” one time that seemed to indicate that he didn’t think too much of the emerging church either. He said “The Emerging church isn’t doing anything different then what the church has done the past 1500 years…they are just using culture to meet the culture…” and then compared how the middle ages church fashioned their churches to look like castles, and how the age of the corporation made their churches look and act like corporations. Miller was among my favorite authors at the time, so this made me think. He had a good point. It certainly wasn’t a ‘revolutionary’ movement.
The church as a whole just seems to have this trend of having several different movements going on at one time, each of them claiming to be the best way to be relevant or the best way to ‘know God’. Whether it’s starting churches in night clubs, or inspiring a congregation to engage in lectio divina, I honestly believe that these things are just another chapter in American church movements and in 10 years, people won’t remember them.
So I propose a new “movement”. A new way to be relevant in a pagan world: Be authentic. Instead of trying to find new ways to reach people, or new schemes or the evil and dreaded ‘sales pitch’, being authentic brings us to a place where people can see a genuine change in a person. The desire to know and love God and the desire to know and love people.
It’s not programs.
It’s not hiring more staff.
It’s not buildings.
It’s not an ancient Benedictine tradition.
It’s not anything new.
It’s not “purpose driven”.
It IS being authentic and not just going thru the motions. It’s going outside of that comfort zone to actually help the physical needs of people. Going outside of our own personal “bubbles”.
There is a world of hurting people out there, and we can’t even muster enough LOVE for our Savior to get out of bed on Sunday morning. That is being inauthentic.
So I don’t know, maybe someone can take this and get the ball rolling with it. I’m going to try to be authentic. It’s not an easy task, but it is necessary if we want to reach and make disciples.