new ways of doing church
Yesterday I read an article that Doug gave to me from fermiproject.com. It’s called “Postmodern Wells: Creating a Third Place”, by Mark Batterson. The article mainly discusses their church’s philosophy and ministry regarding the coffee house that they built and operate. The article has stayed with me and has caused me to contemplate the implication these ideas have on my life and ministry. There’s some great perspective on the church and it’s role in culture.
When I was a junior in Bible college, I had the privilege of doing my internship with Mark at his church in Washington, DC. I remember Mark looking at this old, run-down building on the corner and saying something about a coffee house. Now, several years later, it’s the largest coffee house in the metro DC area. Pretty impressive.
Anyway, I won’t go into the whole article, but two items stuck out to me.
- At one point in the article Mark mentions one of their core values: “Do it right and do it big.” Later, he says, “good isn’t good enough”. I’ve had to stop and ask myself if I’m settling for what’s acceptable or am I truly reaching for excellence? It’s just way too easy to take a shortcut or leave things at “good enough.” Even before I read the article, I’ve been realizing the need to raise my standards and not let myself become excellent at mediocrity.
- In the last paragraph of the article Mark says, “there are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet.” (Of course, this is coming from a pastor who’s church meets in movie theaters throughout the DC area.) But I can’t help but be bothered by this. And I mean that in a good way. I just keep asking myself, “What new way of doing church do you have for me to discover, God?” As the Church has increasingly lost it’s voice and place in culture, it’s becoming more apparent that our current methods aren’t effectively reaching people. So how do we change? What do we change? What will resonate with people who desperately need God, but often don’t recognize it?
Anyway, I don’t mean to offer answers to these questions. I’m not sure I have any good answers to them. But these are just a few of the thoughts I’ve been wrestling with the last day or so.