Finished up this past Sunday morning with Church Outside the Box, the series. I have a feeling that this thought will not be far away for a long time, that it will flavor many things before it abates.
We started out talking about the Block Party from the night before. Discussed whether we were the church in the Park or not. We decided that serving other people, helping them have fun, having spiritual conversations, and helping them to see that not all Christians are out to beat them over the head was a good thing - we might have been the church outside the walls afterall.
Then we talked about all the things our past and traditions have forced upon us and decided if they were really required for us to be the church. (If you look real close, you can see the ghost-white legs of the goofy preacher....) I preached for the first time ever in big church dressed in shorts, t-shirt and sandals - or at least I started out with sandals, they came off pretty quickly.
Several of the things written on the wall were torn out and thrown away. About the only thing that was not discarded was the Bible. We even decided that a paid preacher was not a requirement for us to be the church....
Clean walls again.... It remains to be seen if we will continue with our evaluation of who we are as the church. It is my hope that we will get rid of as many things that hold us back from being the church that we can. We can put many things down that we have held dear. Hopefully we can show those who do not know Christ yet who He is and who we truly are - His called out ones.