Alan Hirsch and Dave Ferguson, in On the Verge, lament the lack of imagination and creativity present in most churches, challenging pastors and leaders to step up their level of paradigmatic imagining. For too long, they argue, we have been content in the confines of comfort, unwilling or unable to dream big or think out of the box.
What if we embraced summer as a season to innovate and experiment, seeing this season as something of an R&D laboratory or birthing place for new ideas? What if we threw all the “givens” out and dreamed afresh?
Working and leading and living in Los Angeles – not a place known for permanence -, I’ve found myself drawn towards stability. Stability does not have to always line up with the “status quo,” but it often does. As I said in the post yesterday, there’s wisdom and maturity that comes with tradition and stability, but too often our level of comfort with the status quo prevents us from taking any creative or innovative strides forward.
The “motivation” in “Motivation Monday,” then, was to let yourself dream and escape the confines of the status quo over the summer months. Experiment, dream, and imagine new possibilities and new ways of thinking. Do this in your church, do this in your life.
Kairos Hollywood, our church community, is taking steps toward this over the summer months. In our desire to engage the city around us in meaningful and sustainable ways, we are changing the frequency of our Sunday gatherings/services.
These Sunday meetings are too often identified as “church,” which hampers any real imagining of what “church” could mean when it is not confined to four walls, a worship set, and a sermon. So, we’re stepping out a bit and meeting only every other week. A small step, but a step nonetheless. The other rhythms of our community (serving, doing life together, etc.) will happen just as often, if not more often…but we’ll take a break from the routine we’ve established over the course of eight years as a community.
To be honest, it is a bit nerve-racking and exciting, but I am hopeful that we will emerge in fall as a community that has a deeper heart for our neighbors and our city. I am hopeful that we will emerge as a community more committed to and invested in each others lives – well below the surface that is barely scratched on Sundays. I am hopeful that we will emerge as a community that throws better parties and celebrations – for each other, for our neighbors, and for the life that we have together in Christ.
And we’ll see what happens. But there’s no better time than summer to give it a shot.