An Effective Mess?

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I’ve had John Burke’s “No Perfect People” sitting on my bookshelf for a little while now and decided to use it as my bus reading today. Of course, I didn’t take in as much as I’d like because I was too busy dancing and singing along to Glee songs as much as you can get away with on public transport (it’s more than you’d expect, by the way). Anyways, there’s one quote that stuck in my head… and it was helped by Finn’s voice in my ears telling me that he’d stand by me (aww, Finn!).

It was this:

“The twenty first century church will be messy if it is to be effective.”

Back to Glee for a second. I think everyone sees themselves in one of the characters. We see ourselves in their struggles, and one of the thins that I love about the show is that when it comes down to it, they look out for each other. They slip up sometimes, yeah… but in the end, there’s always something positive. There’s unity, even though they’re completely different people from completely different walks of life.

And yet, their songs are so catchy!

In church, we have unity too.

John Burke talks about how our current cultural climate resembles that of Corinth. We are all about freedom and tolerance. Our mantra is “if it feels good, do it” and if we were  in the 1st Century, we’d be scoffed at and called Corinthians. Our truth is all relative and we like our churches to shut up and let us live our lives. Burke doesn’t so much condemn the culture, though. He challenges the church to step into that culture and engage with the people in it – all the while remaining true to the Spirit of God that calls us to holiness.

I’m not going to tell you how to walk that line – use your own discernment there, my friends.

If we do engage, though, and we do become more than a room full of people from the same class, with the same interests and the same skin colour – it will be messy! If it’s messy with the people we’ve got, then add diversity and we’re in for some problems. But blessings, too.

Beautifully broken, right?

Let’s be effective.

Let’s be messy.

It’s a sign of life, right?

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