Friday, July 01, 2005

Doing Church

This summer I am a part of my third internship in a church and I've found there to be a big difference between many churches and the world of academia. In university, we are dreaming dreams for the church, studying all about God, and trying to develop a healthy theology as well as a healthy look at the church. As I read more about how God wants to develop churches of mission, it consumes me often. I want to step into a church some day and create an environment where mission is the lifeblood of the church. I feel called to bring churches through this transition from consumer orientation to becoming a missional church.

As I think about this often and come into churches for summers, I find that many churches are not even thinking about how they can be more faithful to God's call and dreaming about the possibilities for renewal and mission. Instead, they are just "doing church." There are no staff meetings with a conversation for vision or conversations over staff lunches about whether we are faithful to the call of God in our corner of the world. Somehow, the mundane things of church have crowded out this important part of receiving God's call for a church. At first glance, I am critical of this situation, but as I think more about it, I wonder if this is all a church can do to stay alive. If you forget the mundane, though important things, the church will fall apart. However, without a vision the church will never become what it can be. I wonder what it will be like 10 years into my ministry. Will I still dream dreams? Will I still seek exciting visions with the staff and leadership of a church? Or am I just an overexcited university student whose hopeful dreams about the church need to be tamed down through day-to-day grind of ministry? I hope this is not the case.

God grant us all visions for your church that are bigger than tomorrow and in line with your will. As we seek your calling in our churches, give us hopes and futures that you promise and desire. We love you and we want to see things as you do. Praise you for all of the good you bring.

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