The Most Important Challenge?

In an online discussion about the Out of the Ooze book, the contributing writers were asked what they felt the single most important issue facing the church in 2008 was.

I recycled part of an old post from early 2006 for my answer, because I am seeing how increasingly critical it is that we begin (because we've barely started crawling here) to envision REAL change...

"I believe it is willingness to sacrifice itself when called to. Willingness to die that others might live."

We are often so afraid of throwing out the baby with the bathwater that we don't realize the baby has been sick for a long time... getting a rash FROM the bathwater. Or maybe getting frostbite because the water cooled off several hours (or centuries) ago.

Or maybe we accidentally used harsh Selsun Blue instead of Baby Shampoo in the water, so it's burning Baby's skin. Or what if Baby's skin is simply getting all prune-like, and it's time to get out and dry off?

And what if the baby isn't even a baby anymore? What if we've been trying to bathe a toddler in a baby tub, and the toddler just doesn't fit? He's still dirty because there isn't enough water to cover him. The water's become black sewage because Toddler was just running through the drainage ditch in the backyard, unkempt and undisciplined... or what if we drowned the baby? What if we were so worried about keeping the baby in the water that we didn't notice his little head went under?

Maybe we were talking on the phone...

All this to say: don't we trust God to lead the Body forward?

Anne Rice said in an interview, "We're too afraid that the devil is winning. He's not winning! WE'RE winning, and we have to start living like it."

Throw out that bathwater! The Holy Spirit will ensure that the baby (the Body of Christ... for Christ's sake!) will survive.

Self-protection isn't our calling.

We talk about "change" so much in emerging circles, but too often all we wind up with are the same old machine, retooled or repainted. This machine is breaking down. We have to let God build something new - more than lighting candles, greasing pomade through our faux-mohawks and playing more accoustic worship songs from the 90s... that isn't new - and it certainly isn't "emerging..."

Do we think Jesus is SO fragile?

Are we so selfish? When will we let go?

(It's time to dream bigger)

read more about my thoughts on Christianity in the real world at


Nate Watson said...

Interesting have a way with words. I have been stewing over this the past two days...I may respond in a blog myself.

2Pete said...

Nate (above) posted something on his own blog that I'd like to mention and take as meaningful correction: WE (Christians) shouldn't be building anything. God, through the Holy Spirit, should be building something in us and out of us.

I wrote "We have to build something new," but isn't that the problem? Building something new? The next big thing? It'll never fly if it's our efforts. The Church, as the Body of Christ, must function by the direction of the Godhead.

Thanks Nate.

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