So anybody involved in the modern or postmodern church understands how involved we have become in making small groups central to our activities. At Celebration we say that small groups are central to the core of who we are. Having never been fully involved with a congregation that had small groups I have to admit that I don't know if they are central to the core of how I see the church, but we're going to give it a try.
Rather than a Bible or sermon study I decided to organize a group based on film study. The flicks I chose aren't necessarily "Christian" movies which would make waves in some congregations I've been involved in before. There will be harsh language, violence, sex, drugs, rock and roll, and a number of other things that aren't considered acceptable in polite Christian circles.
I picked the movies because I think we need to stop pretending that we are not living in the world in which we are. Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Clearly we're told that we aren't to be "of the world" but we are in the world so how do we as 21st century Christians comply with scripture but also avoid a compound lifestyle somewhere in east Texas?
I believe it is my job as a minister in a postmodern setting to sit at the intersection where the church and the world meet. My interpretation of this passage tells me that I am to be transformed in Christ without succumbing to the pressures of the world. My interpretation of the life I have lived tells me that people outside of the faith aren’t interested in believing in a God that doesn’t understand them where they are in their life. So how do I as a minister introduce the two?
On facebook my minibio says that I am a fan of Jesus and Beer and anyone that partakes in either regularly. That’s true. I’m a believer that beer brings the world together and have had more theological conversations at the pub than I have at any church. These experiences have pointed out to me that I need not be of the world to be a citizen of the world. I can set my sights on Christ while having my feet planted firmly on terra firma. So here I am, a citizen of the world ever changed by my experiences and relationship with a God I can’t understand. I don’t know how I will reconcile the two, but I believe that God isn’t only found in the church. So we will watch controversial movies and I’ll keep you updated on where the Lord shows up. I do believe it will be in surprising and unexpected ways.
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