With all the bandwidth flying through the air between smartphones, texts, voting devices, streaming signals and human conversation one would think that communication would be better and clearer. If we could see the waves of data, signal and movement moving around us we might better see the entanglement as we gather in the name of being a connectional church.
The annual meeting of clergy and laity gives an opportunity for accountability and transparency about our past. It is an occasion to look into the future with questions and clarifications for where we hope to be heading. What is most risky appears to be the relationship of the present.
On one hand, we are challenged to be one church with many doors and campuses to share our ministries, all the while we compete for new members and new believers in a time that the church is loosing relevant-ness to persons under the age of 25, our primary target audience of survival.
As thousands walk outdoors into the heat of a fearful and searching world, we meet a fellow named Kenny. He is a self-professed alcoholic looking for a pastor. He is looking for transformation and connection. He wants someone to listen and to help find focus and direction. He doesn’t connect with worship. He hungers for acceptance and meaning.
Al the while we struggle with the balance of power of the distraction of caucuses, agendas and factions highlights the context in which we now live, yet we are failing to offer the spirit of transformation. Our wires are crossed. We become short-circuited, detrimental and ultimately ineffective. I thank God that Kenny ask me to listen to his story, his questions and his fears. It gave me the opportunity to do and be what I was ordained to do and what we are all baptized to do. Find ways to meet one another in a broken world through the cross of Jesus Christ.
We need to cling to and proclaim God’s continued journeying with us to share experiences of both grace and strength in the presence of disconnection and fear. At a time the church is pushing apart into camps of either/or we have crossed our spiritual connections with our agenda when we have not mastered sharing Christ.
In the 24 minutes that it seems to gather each digital vote, I found another 24 minutes of sharing the real, power filled cross of Jesus Christ that will need to be repeated 24 minutes from now, and for the rest of our lives.
Change your agenda. whatever it is, and relinquish your will and heart into the hands of God and be the church of Jesus, living in the spirit. Get some rest there are more votes tomorrow, and more folks like Kenny.