Do you ever find yourself in the wondering mindset of “what if?” What if usually provides opportunities for what is possible. Granted for some people “what if” takes them to a place of all the possibilities of negative things that could happen. But for many of us, it places us into a position of thinking and exploring without obstacles, boundaries, anyone telling us no, or limited resources of any kind. “What if” time and thinking frees us to all things possible and breaks us free from limited beliefs and options. Frankly, I think we do way too little of this – especially in the church world.
With that in mind, please allow me to share my “What If” wonderings list of late with you:
- What if we had a broader belief and understanding that laity also have a call to ministry that just plays out differently than clergy?
- What if we once again became a movement rather than a group of settlers comfortable sitting in our pews?
- What if we moved beyond believing church was a specific day at a specific hour in a specific place in a specific building with a specific worship order and a specific music genre and instead that church was 24/7/365?
- What if we became serious once again about discipling and accountable relationships where real life transformation took place?
- What if we were to allow the antiquated institution to die rather than keep it on life support so that a new movement could be birthed that is more culturally relevant, flexible, less top heavy, more organic, and more life-giving?
- What if we were to quit worshiping buildings and traditions and instead turn our attention to our neighbors who are hurting in need of community, love, grace, and healing?
- What if we were to train clergy to be equippers and senders rather than theologians expecting culture to gather to hear them preach?
- What if our denominations spent as much time, money, and resources on equipping laity as they do on equipping clergy?
- What if we gathered a group of younger Gen Y and older Gen Z people who had interest in ministry and allowed them to innovate and experiment without any institutional constraints?
- What if seminaries and course of study providers consistently evolved and met the needs of the post-modern local congregations and communities?
- What if local churches held regular listening sessions in their local communities so that they truly knew their communities and their needs?
- What if local congregations had to show minimum signs of fruitfulness in order to remain open such as new adult professions of faith, raising up a new pastor, new people entering their discipleship pathway, congregants serving the community, etc.?
- What if discipleship development was understood and practiced as not only growing more Christ-like, but also coming with responsibilities such as leadership, generosity, and disciple-making?
- What if there was a whole new movement of new disciples on fire for Christ that could bring a new sense of peace and love to this broken world?
- What if this is the time and place and we are the people God has put hereat this time to set this new thing in motion?
- What if we miss the opportunity because we are too . . . afraid, lazy, tired, weary, paralyzed, demoralized, …)?
Are you spending time with God asking what if? Or better yet, are we sitting with God listening for what if?