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By far, the intro videos by Alan Hirsch were some of the highlights of the Verge Conference a couple of years ago. Here is one I’ve been thinking a lot about lately:
How well have we done at making disciples in the North American “church” model? What might have to change for discipleship to truly be a driving factor? If the focus shifted to discipleship, would our model of “church” look any different?
We just finished out my oldest son’s soccer season. I’ve always encouraged my kids to try hard but have fun when they play organized sports. I’ve never wanted them to have to be in an environment where the parents are screaming and angry when their child makes a mistake. But, of course, there are always those parents there, sometimes they’re even the coach. We had a great coach but there was one team in particular that we played; their coach was literally red in the face from screaming at his kids. Their team won, but so what?
That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about skateboarding. You don’t have to be great at it to love it. Of course, growing up, there was always the cloud of being called a “poser” looming over you if you weren’t good. But, a poser is really someone who pretends to do something and doesn’t. That’s quite different from loving to skateboard and simply not being very good at it.
I realize that skateboarding culture has often (and probably rightly so) been associated with rebellion but, as I work on the skateboard ramp on our side-yard (for myself and our boys!) and I reflect on the skateboarding culture I grew up with, I’m struck by how healthy a community it actually was. We looked out for one another (Galatians 6:1-2), we laughed (Romans 12:15) and we were genuinely united (1 Peter 3:8). Now, I’m not saying that we always had the best of intentions, or actions, but I am saying that, I want my kids and our family at Church of the Cross to experience this same type of community.
I worry that far too many people’s experience of “church” has more to do with performance and fitting in than with loving, humble and accepting community. We have become so institutionalized that we get upset when people don’t fit the mold. But, really, shouldn’t it be our love for one another that sets us apart (John 13:35, 1 John 4:7-21). This is when team sports is at its best and this is the upside of “rebellious” teens riding around on boards with wheels. Is it the upside of our “church” experience?
“. . . and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night . . . ”
Francis Chan weighs in on the recent hell controversy: