Thoughts From Your Regional Minister Article
Published in January 2022 Kansas Messenger issue
By Larry Ross, Interim Co-Reginal Minister
I once very nearly became the minister of “Going Bonkers Christian Church.” Well, I DID become their pastor, but after we acquired a building once known as a children’s playhouse (Going Bonkers), I playfully suggested a change of name. Wouldn’t you like to attend a church that was “Going Bonkers”?
Some church folk seem to act like any suggestion for a change in the church is just going bonkers, but I like them. The church needs more “What If” people, folk who wonder if there are better ways to be church, and better ways to start churches.
The church needs more “Yes, and” people, folk who can hear a new idea and flesh it out. The church even needs more ‘Yes, but” people, who excel at clear-eyed analysis of the implications of new ideas, and are able to massage them into more workable possibilities. There is even a role for “No, never” people. They force the rest of us to do our homework. The sad thing is that, in a typical church, “No, never” people vastly outnumber the rest of us.
Interestingly, most “No, never” people have approached change in more open ways in the past, and in other settings. But there is something about churches that seems to lure us into complacency and comfort. We like our church. We don’t want it to change. We sing “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever more shall be” as though it applies to the church, and it does, in some ways. Jesus Christ IS the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We can count on that!
It’s the WAY we do things that needs to change in the church. The world changes around us, and what once ‘worked’ does not work as well anymore. Robert’s Rules of Order and the Functional Committee system are NOT in the Bible and can be adapted or discarded. The church CAN try new things, must try new things, and needs to test its assumptions to see what still holds true.
How about you? Are you a “What-if” person? A “Yes, and” person? A “Yes but” person? A “No, never” person? I tend to be a “Yes, and” person: not terribly creative, but willing to help try new ideas. What about you?