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Provocative Discussion

I love getting around innovative leaders. I had lunch and dinner yesterday with some of the other communicators at the conference I was speaking at in BC.  We had leaders from California, BC and Ontario in on the conversation, and we began to reflect on the changes happening in the church today.

Highlights:

  • Something in the church is shifting deeply for people under 30.  They desire both anonymity and relationship (relationship on their terms).  Their tolerance for hypocrisy is minuscule. They are searching for something real, something meaningful, something personal and interactive. I’ve seen this in our community, and it’s a change that excites me.  We might be moving to an era where there is little tolerance for "playing" church and a deep desire to be the church.
  • Two of the lead pastors were doing major series on hypocrisy.  The guy from California is in one right now, and I’m planning a major series for January 08.  We wondered allowed whether we could do 52 Sundays next year where all we did was say "love God, love others" and help people integrate that into their lives.  This is where most of us fall down.  We were kind of joking about preaching the same message 52 times, but I wonder what would happen if Christians were the most loving people.  What kind of teaching and what kind of environment in our community groups would lend itself to people truly being transformed into Christ-likeness. Isn’t that what people long for — to be different than we are?  Do we too often settle for breadth of information, and not depth of application of what we already know in our lives?

What do you think?

7 Comments

  1. Gen Whyte on November 6, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Something sure is happening in the church,and it is exciting for us.. over 60 and over 70.. So exciting and sometimes scarey as we do not want to miss out on what God is going to do..Wow.. Press on Carey.. When God really moves nothing will hold Him back.. only us and sin… Our prayer is to be holy and like Christ..God Bless. Gen

  2. Nancy MacLachlan on November 6, 2007 at 12:38 am

    The idea of church being the people and not a building is what I think Jesus had in mind in the beginning. I am in the over 30 something and a bit more crowd… and think back to my experiences as a teen and younger adult and it sure wasn't as exciting as I see the changes happening now. I looked up the "orange" conference site the other day ( looks good Carey)and it was so moving to see people so energized for God and getting that message across in fun,celebratory ways. I showed it to my teen daughters and they both remarked, "awesome" "wouldn't it be cool to go to that?"
    I didn't go to church this past weekend, but had my head into books and the bible writing a paper on christian leadership philosophy. The principle that I put forward was the idea of hospitality. Showing our love in our actions, in our attitude towards others,and being hospitable to God, by opening our hearts and minds to His love and inviting Him in to our daily lives. I have had some discussions with a friend who is a convicted atheists (on facebook)and after giving my friend the 'history' and the meaning behind things, he stated, " I understand the history and have heard the story but I don't "get it"…words are not going to change his heart or open his mind, only something meaningful and life changing is going to convince my friend (he's in the over 50 crowd)Perhaps the new directions and 'down to earth approach' will reach out to folks like my friend.
    Wonderful forum for sharing thoughts. Thanks Carey.

  3. june stables on November 5, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Amen to all that, for us becoming the church as it should be. The great commision was and always will be to Love the Lord our God with all our heart and Love others as ourseslfs. Nothing has changed in our commision, we just have not been doing it, probably because it is hard work and takes dedication, and a great Love for the ways of God. I think 52 Sundays would be a good start for us to begin to learn this jewel of truth, and if we really began to practice it, with a lot of help from the Lord that is, we would see many more people joining in with our fervour for Jesus. We are on to something great here folks, lets not drop the ball. As Carey mentioned we are all learning, a work in progress but this is exactly the shift the church needs to make and i am so glad i finally get to see people with a heart for what God has a heart for. People period. Thanks Carey

  4. Sarah on November 5, 2007 at 11:21 am

    My heart aches for the church, and even more for what I think Christ meant it to be. Being an under-30-something and growing up in the church has made me ask a lot of questions, and if I'm being honest I have harboured a lot of resentment toward "church." I believed in Jesus, but I was loosing faith in the church.
    Coming to University was a milestone in my walk. I saw the condition of so many hearts – I saw the blatant challenges to Christianity and truth. And I began to realize something needs to change – in me, and in church.
    I am reading a book called unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity…and why it matters. It is pretty sobering. I used to look at "God" discussions as pursuading people or "winning them over" but I have approached this conversation now not as a good debate, but instead trying to show love, speak love, and listen with understanding and kindness. This is tricky to learn.
    At the begining of this book the author says "Jesus is so much more than logical proof. His life is the starting point where our lives can really begin." When I really think about this… REALLY think about it, I can hardly contain my excitement! That is what I feel like the church maybe lost over the years – why, I don't know. But it's time to bring it back!

  5. laurie lamb on November 5, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Our past small group met for a great brunch on Sunday. It felt like family and we were all so happy to be together and share a meal. We talked about Christianity and the things we as christians understood but wondered about how "unchurched" would respond without the understanding we have grown in. The scriptures about SIN caused a lot of discussion and how much people get turned off by guilt and fear. One of the thoughts that came out of our discusssion was that sin is anything that hurts ourself or others and how grieved God is by that. Isn't that what so much of the Scriptures try to teach us? – love the Lord above all else and love your brother also?

  6. Terra Fehrman on November 5, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Hello Everyone,
    I love this new format! I have been following the blog and reading the comments. Saturday night, I went to Brenton Brown's concert at Timothy Christian School. It was great! Rick Cua was there and gave his testimony. It took his wife five years to encourage him into a relationship with Jesus. I found great comfort in their story. I have been encouraging my husband for over two years now. He has put up so many barriers. Our discussions over the past two weeks have been nothing but discouraging. Rick's testimony touched my heart. It seems that God always leads me to what I need at the right time. Thank- you Rich for all of your worship suggestions. I went back to Harvest Bible Chapel for Sunday service. I enjoyed it.
    Carey, I think you read my mind!!!!! I would love to hear even more about the conference you attended in BC. I can identify with everything you have written in your blog and I am excited to hear about your new series! To all Connexus Staff: I see that you are working hard and please keep up the good work!

    Terra (& Morgan) Fehrman

  7. Danielle on November 5, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Regarding depth of application. Just keep sharing your message. Build it and they will come! I took this weekend (after reading your blogs ) to spend time with God this Sunday. There was no music and no sitting in a chair listening to your empowering, inspiring messages. Just me and the bible, just me and prayer, just me and time alone with God's words, nurturing my personal relationship with God. What a beautiful morning I had. Pen and paper in hand I created my plan of how I am going to apply this in every day living. How I am going to step up to the plate and be a living example. Something is shifting in the church for sure and it is exciting for people in their 50's as well.
    Thanks Carey

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