Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This conversation is missing your voice

I posted some video's on Vimeo recently for our pastors in our Nebraska Region.  They were filmed during our annual spring pastors conference.  The speaker was Dr. David Fitch and the content of these videos are very helpful for anyone wanting to learn from a true practitioner what the "Missional Church" is all about.

I checked the Vimeo channel to make sure everything was working without logging in and noticed at the bottom of the individual video's an interesting phrase.
This conversation is missing your voice. Please join Vimeo or log in.
This is a great statement.  It really speaks to an attitude churches and church leaders can take in order to better engage young adults.

Often times churches and church leaders have a great desire to invite and welcome new people into the community.  They hope others will join the church, Bible study, or Wednesday night kids/youth programs.  This is all done in a way that makes it clear they believe they are a welcoming and warm congregation.  They truly hope others will join their church and "log in" to the many programs and activities available.  I believe the rub comes in the first part of the Vimeo statement.

Many of these same very welcoming, warm, and loving congregations are not in a place where they believe the Christian conversation is missing any voices.   The same voices that have been speaking within the life of the congregation are good enough and will continue to lead for some time.  Even when they say they are tired and hope others will take the lead, in reality they are hoping someone will take the lead as long as it is the way they would do it.

But if young adults and any new member of any age is to join a community of faith they have to believe that the conversation is missing their voice.  That there is actually a conversation taking place.  People who are struggling with how to apply faith to every corner of life.  What does the church community have to do with my work, vocation, and shopping habit?  To join a conversation requires both a willingness to engage in the community and to be informed by the community.  A new participant into the conversation has to be willing to hear what is taking place and allow it to shape them as much as they are willing to engage and contribute.

I found Vimeo's statement meaningful and powerful.  There is a Christian conversation taking place all around us and if you are not engaged we are missing your voice, just as much as you are missing ours.  My prayer is that we all find ways to truly engage in conversation in order to hear and to be heard, to actually contribute and to receive.

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