Well, I couldn’t help but wax on a little more about how our denominational inertia simply galls me. We do the same darn things and expect to get different results. It seems to me that Jesus said He was going to do a NEW thing. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic isn’t going to cut it, but I have churches and pastors that aren’t supporting our new thing of a huge Youth Event, “Revolution,” as one pastor dared to put it to me, “because we don’t know if it will be worth coming to…” Malarkey!!! How will you know and how will you make a difference unless you dare to do a new thing?
Last weekend, a week ago right now, I went with my brother and his grandson to the University of South Carolina, PapaJohns.com Bowl Game, against the UCONN Huskies in Birmingham, Alabama. It was freezing, but none of us, though lifelong USC fans, had ever been to one of our bowl games. We wanted to be there and I had high hopes that our team would show up – but they didn’t (Kinda like not attending “Revolution” or not paying apportionments). Oh, the team came out and the cheerleaders (pastors) waved the flags, but what happened: the same-old-same-old. In 118 years of college football at USC we have only won 8 or more games 6 times. What a mediocre tradition that is, and more the fault of ineptitude than a puported “chicken curse.” You can’t do the same things time and time again and expect different results.
Waving flags is great, but I’m ready for better results. The United Methodist Church has superb theology, a praxis of personal holiness and social holiness, but we’re still declining in numbers, at least in the US. What’s up with that? I think it’s old thinking and doing, domestication of the Gospel, and wimping out on evangelism. It’s high time to quit waving the flags, and start actually doing something on the field of life!