Sunday, December 14, 2008

Old couch...

Read this following statement on the Catalyst blog a few weeks ago and it gets me thinking.

Do you have any thoughts? Possible implications? Push back?

Andy Stanley recently shared how church traditions are like an old couch - when you first bought it, it was awesome and made perfect sense. Now the couch, 20 years later, doesn't work but you're holding on to it b/c it has so much meaning and memories from the past.

Are there couches in your organization that you need to get rid of?


jon said...

Depends what it is. Lots of new church traditions are just mirages. I think we waste a lot of energy in church trying to stay hip, to reinvent the wheel.

At the same time, holding on to yesterday's mirage even after it has disappeared is bad news.

The big issue is what is what and why do you want to change?

jonathan said...

A couple thoughts:
1) Sometimes we hold on to traditions, not because they "have so much meaning and memories from the past" - but because it's just far too easy and convenient keep them around. To keep with the illustration - it can be a real pain to go shopping for a new couch, hauling out the old one, etc.
2) I think that many church traditions are just in need of a little reclamation as opposed to replacement. For example, rather than just "doing advent" - we need to put in the effort to discover why it was such a meaningful thing in the past. Church tradition often feels empty because we're not entering into the way we're supposed to be.

benjskramer said...

To be perfectly blunt and honest I've been thinking a lot about this lately and I'm coming to the conclusion the church as an institution may be an old couch.

I thoroughly believe the church is God's means of working in the world and have full faith God has great things he wants to do in and through it, but I really question if the western church as it has been institutionalized into buildings, programs and non-profit status are really the most effective or God ordained way to be the church.