The church on the corner

5 06 2008

Leonard Hjalmarson writes some very captivating stuff on his blog nextreformation.com. Today he posted a a few paragraphs from an article he wrote on liminality titled Forty Years in a Narrow Space that really caught my attention:

“Most of us are experiencing the dynamics of transition. We no longer know what the church is… and as a result we aren’t sure who we are either. We don’t know what that building on the corner is supposed to do or to mean. We aren’t sure we want to support large mortgages or even professional leaders.

“We have questions about the nature of community and belonging. We have questions about form and freedom and intentionality. We are trying to escape the dualism of Christendom, and discover the meaning of a whole life in relation to God, instead of a Sunday or meeting centered life. We are trying to rediscover the Gospel Jesus preached.  In his book The Search to Belong, Joseph Myers talks about “transitional phases” in chemistry. Water is in a transitional phase when it is becoming ice, or heated to become steam. For a while it has the characteristics of both stages, but is truly neither.

“We are not who we were, and not yet who we will become. It is a time of great awkwardness as we seek for a way to move forward, but sense we are traveling in circles.. no longer at home in the church and not at rest in the world. And this transitional place is complicated by the reality that so many are at different stages of comfort in the journey… some beginning it with pain and anxiety, possibly feeling very alone or grieving what they left behind, even defending their right NOT to change; others have stepped outside their comfort zones and are asking new questions about culture, change, and the kingdom of God. Some are more comfortable than others with uncertainty and are discovering a new sense of belonging in a new kind of community.”

Does this connected with you?

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