What would happen if we no longer practiced church as usual?
Close your eyes and dream with me:
1. What if the church pursued welcoming, loving conversations about Jesus on social networking sites like Twitter, Plurk, and Facebook? What if we saw opportunities on the Web to share Jesus, much like he seized chances to talk about his Father on the roads of Galilee?
2. What if the church didn't make God seem spooky, remote, and weird? Why not talk with people like we were regular people instead of robotic clerics agitated by our itchy hair shirts?
3. What if we took Jesus' words about the Holy Spirit seriously? The Bible says the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. What if we moved aside and watched the Spirit do his job?
4. What if the church did not act like the fashion police? Wehy can't we get our praise on even when the multi-pierced, the ghoulishly Gothic, the skimpily dressed, and the completely tattooed sit next to us in church?
5. What if we treated all sin as sin and didn't act as if lying, cheating, gossiping, backbiting, adultery, meanness, and gluttony got a pass in the Bible? Ahh. Jesus' words to the folks who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery: He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
6. What if we gave people food and bill assistance just because they asked for it? Some people will take advantage of our benevolence, but a lot of other folks would just love the church for helping them out during a rough time. Seems worth the risk to me -- just to see how God touches people and answers their prayers.
7. What if all the televangelists who typically ask viewers to "sow" into their ministry never asked for another dime? What if they urged viewers to sow into the church where they actually attend?
8. What if we actually believed in the expansive power of prayer? We could ask the Lord to heal and prosper our country instead of writing nasty, mean-spirited stuff on the Web and loudly protesting outside of people's homes?
9. What if we love people, regardless of how they vote in this presidential election? Think about it: civility the day after the election. And the church could offer the most civil environment of all.
10. What if we treated people with the grace God gives us? Unconditional love is wonderful to receive. Have we learned how to share it?
What are your dreams for the church?
Judy Howard Ellis