I spent eight years serving Jesus INSIDE the church walls. These past eight months I’ve served him OUTSIDE the walls. I’ve observed that some of the things I use to think were important inside just aren’t all that relevant on the outside. For example, we spend a lot of time inside the church talking about what kind of music is worship music & whether or not it’s legitimate to show movie clips in service, or how long a sermon should be, & what kind of clothing is acceptable and whether or not someone can say “crap” on the stage.
Recently there was a blog on whether or not church membership is biblical. Now, I get we have to have these conversations, but I also get why many consider the church antiquated.
These last two weeks I’ve been hanging around in a blue collar, northeastern, small town. When I sit in the coffee shop I don’t hear anyone discussing whether or not a sermon should be 32 or 40 minutes long. I don’t hear them ask about whether or not church membership is biblical. The music, well, church music isn’t even on their radar.
What I’m observing are people who are concerned about whether or not they will have enough money to pay their winter fuel bill. They worry about their kids and how they can find the time to help their in-laws fix their house. They talk about what they want to eat for dinner and whether it will rain or not.
They talk about the lives of their friends, their gay friends, and they talk like it’s normal. They talk about them as couples, no hesitation or screaming debates about whether or not it’s wrong or right. Just friends talking about friends and life. There’s a couple that comes around, a man and woman who live together but aren’t married. They have several children together but aren’t married. No one seems bothered by that.
Now you can argue that the world is going to hell and these are simply examples of it but it doesn’t change the fact that these people are the norm, we Churchy ones are NOT. And they speak a WHOLE different language, a language I used to know as a young child but forgot as I worked inside. I’m having to relearn the language. And I’m asking myself, “Am I talking about what they are asking about or am I so engrossed in my own subculture that I’m asking and answering questions no one is asking…accept those on the inside?”