An Encouraging Observation

One of the things I think I am observing at CCC is that there is a wide awareness ‘something’ needs to change. That is a good starting point! That’s my encouraging observation. It gets a little less easy from here.

Device to root out all evil pic (2)

There is a much-bandied truth that any organization is perfectly set up to achieve the results it is getting. “Of course,” we say, when we think it over. We see the truth of that self-evident statement.

If we want different results we need to examine what needs to change in order to get a new outcome.

This is where it gets difficult. Often we can’t ‘see’ what we are doing that creates what is currently happening. On top of that, maybe we really do not want to change ourselves. We possibly want the world to change to accommodate us. Or we don’t want to look at how the world around us has changed and how what we have been doing worked fine 50 to 100 years ago and now is comfortable for us.

I’ll give just one example. There was a time, one or two generations ago, when people who wanted church would seek it out. In those days the church was a strong social agency, central to civic life. The church threatening to discipline you had weight. Today, my experience is that people outside the church have little to no idea that the church, well done, offers something of great, eternal value. Much of that is our own fault. I’m talking about the church in general here. So good luck with waiting for people to come to us, as church.

46519627_10161275606465121_4823119076496769024_o abandoned church

But if we stay in even just that one expectation that was valid in the past: “if we build it they will come,” we will not have people making a path through our doors. 

So, we need to begin thinking about what outcome we want (or that we think God wants) that is different that the one so many are ‘restless’ with. That’s what I’m here to help you do. But I won’t do it for you. That would be unfair.



3 thoughts on “An Encouraging Observation

  1. When you ask about what outcomes we want, this is a pretty tall order. To help me move from being a ‘deer in headlights’, to a more productive place, is it possible to break this down into bite-sized pieces?

    I guess the questions for me are –
    1) What are one or two questions we need to think about to start this process?
    2) What are one or two baby steps we can perhaps take (individually/ as a congregation) to identify this new path?
    2) What has your experience taught you that you are able to share with us, to help shine the Lord’s light on our path?

    The natural tendency is to jump to identifying solutions, but I am guessing there is some soul searching that needs to take place first. We first need to understand what we are trying to accomplish and why. Is this perhaps another way of describing the process of discernment?

    What I do know is that I believe in our Church and the people that are part of it. I praise the Lord for this amazing group and the love they so willingly share with one another and others!


    1. Hi Audrey. Again, thanks for interacting.
      There is a risk of getting ahead of ourselves if I answer your comments and questions too directly. There are principles and ideas and biblical teachings and mirrors I need to set before you before I can explain some things, or help you into asking the best questions of yourselves.
      That said, I will put some questions to any who want to try grappling a bit:
      a) What is this church and ‘the’ church here on earth for? Are those the same?
      Is there a difference between what you say in answer to that question and your actions?
      (for example, you can say the church is about connecting with fellow believers who are culturally similar to you, but your behaviour shows you are really most interested in engaging with people who don’t know God yet and are of different cultures [did you catch the way I reversed that from the usual?])
      If you see a dissonance between the bible based answer and the reality, what are you ready to do about that dissonance?
      As to your baby steps question, this conversation and others like it will have to be enough for now.
      Speaking from my experience I need to say something that might not make a lot of sense until 6months to a year from now, but here it is: We need ‘heart change.’ We need to give up on ‘technical’ cures to what gives us the results we are having (a shrinking, aging church near a young subdivision). That includes the notion that a new vision will change everything, and that Pastor Pete will ‘bring’ us a new vision. You need to find one, together. You only find a vision when there is ‘heart change.’


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