Let’s face it, for all but a few people standing on the edge of anything, especially when it is a long way down makes us nervous – maybe even sick. A while back my wife and I were at the Grand Canyon. I walked along the path to one of those spots where I could peek over the edge. Needless to say my heart skipped a couple of beats and I quickly retreated back to safety. Being on the edge can be quite scary and very possibly risky, but it is where the adventure is found.
Ever since I can remember the Church has been at the center of our American culture – until the last few years. In my growing up and even into the first ten years of my serving in vocational ministry “church” was at the center of the community. Whether for right or wrong the majority of people were a part of a church at some level and the church had a voice in what was going on in our communities.
This past Friday’s ruling from SCOTUS was a wake-up call for the church to what has been happening for years – the church is being pushed further and further toward the edge of our American culture. The latest research from the Pew Research Center shows that people are not as apt to identify with a church simply because they were born into a certain denomination or attended church as a child.
To be honest, because of the freedom of religion that we enjoy as a Nation, being pushed to the edge of our culture is very uncomfortable. We don’t know how to live on the edge because all we see is danger and risk.
Last Thursday, the day before the SCOTUS ruling, I was on my monthly prayer and planning day. As I was contemplating about what I was to write about over the next two months I came across this quote from Kevin Roberts…
“Go to the edge. Everyone at the center thinks the same way. That’s why they ended up there in the first place. The edge is unsettled and risky, perfect to shake up conventions and formulas and come up with new ideas.”
"The edge is unsettled and risky, perfect to shake up conventions and formulas..."
I realize that this is written from a business perspective but as I read and re-read the quote I began to realize that the Gospel takes us to the edge. Think about the life of Jesus. He was constantly on the edge in whatever situation he found himself whether it was with the religious leaders, the ruling class or even with his own family and friends. Jesus didn't have a “safe” place to retreat. In fact, he told the religious leader who wanted to follow him that “the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
I think Jesus is calling His Church back to the edge. It’s not a very comfortable place to be – it makes our hearts skip a beat and makes us want to retreat back to the center – but I think that is where He can best do His work and build His Church.
So the question that must be asked is…
What would it look like for me, for you, for my church and your church, for The Church to move back to the edge? What would we have to give-up and what would we have to take on?
For the past thirty-nine years Wayne has served the Church in local churches ranging in size from 50 to 4,500, in two denominational roles as well with an international missions organization. Through these varied experiences God has developed in him a deep passion for His Church and the leaders that lead her.
Wayne’s calling is see the re-missionalization of the Church in North America! MORE>>