This morning on Google+ I linked to a different post on this blog. In a comment, a coworker mentioned this post about the journey people must take when transitioning to simple church.
There is a “Death Valley” that people often must pass through on the journey. In this part of the journey, some long held beliefs and habits must be left behind to die.
Some of the things that will need to die? Felicity Dale lists these 4, but each person making the journey will need to discover which of their own sacred cows must be butchered on the trip through Death Valley.
- Professionally led worship–in simple church you are lucky to have an out-of-tune guitar.
- Well prepared talks–there’s no pastor who can spend hours preparing a stimulating sermon. Everyone takes part in an interactive discussion.
- Children and teens ministry–you can’t just drop your kids off at Sunday School to have an hour free from distractions.
- Someone else to make all the decisions–in simple/organic church, everyone is involved.
I think that another thing to add would be something having to do with “identity”. I can’t quite find the words for it right now… but it would deal with the way that we take some measure of comfort by carrying out our faith in conventional ways according to our culture. We know that if we tell someone that we go to Community Church on 1st and Main that it answers any further questions about our faith. But if we meet in homes or in a coffee shop or on a day other than Sunday… well… now we’ll have to explain how we aren’t a cult, don’t hate the church, read the Bible, listen to Chris Tomlin, etc.
If I’m reading it correctly (and in light of other things I’ve read by her) the point Felicity makes by way of Wolf Simson’s “Death Valley” analogy is that this journey isn’t by teleporter or even an airplane… but it is through a desert and it is best to travel light, with only basic necessities. I’d suggest that you never make this journey alone… get with some friends and travel together!
H/T Jon R and Casey B for the original Google+ post and comment leading to this post