Perhaps it is time for us to really think about this 'New Thing' that we often claim we want. This 'New Thing' requires us to have renewed minds which enables us to embrace New Ways. This 'New Thing' should lead us to rethink our approach, to even re-think the institutional church and the fact that there is no such thing as ONE SIZE FITS ALL
. With the changing landscape, and the challenges to just Be and survive---A "Faith Gathering" might be a legitimate option where a person is able to worship, praise, and serve God. Surely, we can agree that we're not living in a closed, 'cookie cutter' society---everyone is at a different place and space in their spiritual journey.
When I was at Howard School of Divinity, I recall one of my professors who reminded us that everyone has not been called to pastor. This was something that for many seminarians might seem like a sudden death---but it was not meant to be. Her point was predicated on the understanding of seasonal callings. That is, if we understand our call, then we are called to do God's will. Within the Economy of God - God's will exists within time and outside of time. Though we are called to a vocation of service---it is one that may change as God desires to lead and guide us on our ministerial journey. We may pastor in one season but teach during another season. God may call us to be prophets--existing outside the Walls of the church or as counselors and street preachers who stand on a milk carton proclaiming the Word of God.
In the same way, the laity should be open to the fact that there are different faith gatherings for different people [different strokes for different folks]--and they are all valid. I may prefer becoming a member and serving at a Mega as opposed to a House Church. Maybe I enjoy the traditional small to mid-size faith institution where my family has attended for 75 years---or because I'm working 2-3 jobs, the Internet fellowship format best meets my spiritual needs. At the end of the day whatever your preference-it's okay. We all are on the path of becoming, we need faith options---the key is---to Come, Eat, and Serve!
Whatever, our call we should remain ever mindful of the fact that we are not monolithic---The Gospel is given and received in different formats---This 'New Thing' does not necessarily mean one 'New Thing'---it could be many new methods, options, frameworks that point to a way to worship and serve the One, all-forgiving Lord and Savior - Jesus the Christ who bids us to Come---All you who are heavy laden...TRANSLATION--All you who are dealing with some stuff, foolishness, sadness, pain, and drama---Check the I AM out, tell me all about it, let's hang out and I will help you download your grief.
Onward and Upward in Love and Service to All! CC