-by Peggy Hahn, Executive Director of LEAD
There is a palatable shift in the questions church leaders are asking these days. The wonder has moved from, “How can I change the church?” to “How can I change?”
Thanks be to God. We are the church. Certainly, the system (or call it institution) must change. More to the point of this question, the shift of change will start in us, the faith leaders.
If we speculate on why this question has changed, it could be:
- A greater self-awareness around our own practices of racism, sexism, ageism, and other biases that are deep in our beings and are being called out.
- A truth-telling about the system itself. We are the system. We built it, support it, benefit from it, and feel safer in it.
This is a helpful shift because the power (we know this to be the Holy Spirit) begins in our hearts.
Next up, we are hearing:
Where are all the families? Youth? Children? Please, we beg you, hear this as an invitation to listen to the younger people in your life. Ask them, where do you experience God? Get ready for beautiful answers that are evidence of the formation of the church without walls.
How do we get the XXX (Latinx, African American, Asian American, Indigenous Peoples) to come to our church? The answer is easy and at the same time, may be impossible for some. Build relationships. Welcome new people into leadership. Give younger, more diverse people the keys to drive the car, go for a ride. Give up power. Share why you follow Jesus as you travel together.
What are you hearing? Create a question list to ask people. Start with ours here. Then, begin an answer journal so you catch the big themes as people reflect on your questions.
Join us for the Rethinking Church Webinar Series that starts September 13 (Congregational and individual pricing available.)
The listening will form and reform us all as we meet God in new ways, and explore the faith in this newborn world we are entering.