So where do we go from here? That seems to be the pressing question. (If you haven’t read the two previous posts, it would be helpful to go back and read them now).
Well, the first place a lot of people are going is out the door. Like many other denominations, the Churches of Christ are losing many people to true non-denominational churches. These people (that are leaving) are tired of being shackled to traditions that have lost their value. They are fed up with attitudes that more closely resemble the Pharisees than Jesus Christ. Here’s a side note: if you’re one of these people who have chosen to leave, don’t be naïve. All you have done is left one set of problems for a different set. The catch is that those problems haven’t had time to develop yet. Just wait a little while until this next stage in Christian history (the growth of the non-denominational church) is more developed and it will be full of issues that will have you looking for another church.
I suppose the second place to go is . . . nowhere; just sit tight and keep plugging along. That seems to be the choice for those of us who don’t see a problem or don’t have the energy or inclination to do anything about it. I suppose there’s some redeeming value in that. If you don’t think there’s a problem, then life goes merrily along. And you can continue to blame all those liberals or uncommitted members for the fact that you’re congregation continues to dwindle in size.
On the other hand, if you’re sticking your head in the sand or just haven’t figured it out yet, I’d just like drop a little Webster on you . . . INSANITY=continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. From the looks of it, the inmates are running the asylum. If you keep choosing to put your head in the sand, you might find that the next time you pull it out everyone around you is gone.
The third option that I can think of is to positively affect change. A lot of really good people have chosen to take this road, with mixed results. Of course, this is where the term “change agent” comes from. This comes with some good and bad. Either way, you’re likely to be famous, or infamous. You’ll either be well known for championing the cause (which will get yourself invited to speak at all the big events), or you’ll make the front page of all “brotherhood” papers for being an apostate liberal. Good luck with that one.
I haven’t been able to promise myself that I will stick with it, but at least for now I’ve chosen option three. What makes that challenging is that since I’m a preacher, the family of God that I minister to has to come along for the ride with me. The jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing. As far as that goes, the jury is still out on whether or not all of them realize that they are on a trip.
Up next: Which Option to Choose?