God’s Big Garage Sale

Deb StehlinWhen I was a young adult, I opted out of church. I still believed in God; and I still prayed. But for many reasons, the imperfect institution got in the way.

You’ve heard the statistics that more and more people are voting with their feet when it comes to church. They’re opting out … or never opting in.

Why do you think that is?

Think of someone in your life (maybe you) who isn’t finding relevance or value in church participation. What do they say about that? What is it exactly that they are opting out of?

How does all of this make you feel?

Christian author Phyllis Tickle noticed that every 500 years or so, it seems like God has a big garage sale: A lot of things that the church used to see as central are no longer needed and are “put on tables in the driveway” in order to make room for a new day. Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the front door of the church. Five hundred years before that, the Great Schizm happened, and the Church split into East (Constantinople) and West (Rome). Five hundred years before that, the monastic movement brought new life to the Church; and 500 years before that, it was JESUS.

So, here’s my big question: What if the changes in attendance aren’t about the church failing or society going to heck; what if God is simply doing something new?

So, here’s my big question: What if the changes in attendance aren’t about the church failing or society going to heck; what if God is simply doing something new?

I think that this is a terribly exciting time to be church. It’s a time to turn off the auto-pilot button and be curious. It’s time to listen and learn together. What is God up to? Churches that are curious and connected to God, each other, and the neighborhood are the churches that are vital. Life-giving. Dare I say, life-changing?

If I was an author, the title of my book would be Trust How God Works. God comes to us in God’s Word. Jesus sneaks in and forgives us in the bread and wine. The Spirit blows new life into us in the waters of baptism.

This has not changed. This will not change.

I am super hopeful. Are you with me?

2017-07-18T20:01:54+00:00June 24th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |