Need for innovation in the church

Scripture: Mark 2:21-22

When I visited Illinois a couple of weeks ago, I had time to catch up with a few friends from the church in which I grew up. Of the five women who gathered, only two of us still attend church. I wish I could say that I was surprised to learn this, but the truth is that I wasn’t at all. Very few of my friends attend church or have any interest in the church, whatsoever. While some of them have disdain for organized religion, what I hear most often is that the church just isn’t relevant to their lives. The cultural landscape is changing and the reality is that churches aren’t keeping up – traditional forms of church just aren’t speaking to younger generations. Yet people are still searching for something meaningful to feed their souls.

Our tendency (or at least my tendency) is to try to get others to see and experience what we see and experience in worship. We want people to come and find meaning in the thing we find so meaningful. In the scripture above, though, Jesus has a different message. Rather than expecting people to fit into our “old wineskins,” our church community has the opportunity to think outside the box, innovate, and provide something wholly new. God is giving us the chance to take a risk, reach out, and meet people where they are. What a gift it would be if we could create something where more people can find meaning, inspiration, and community. What an exciting time to be the people of God!

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T.S. Eliot