I’ve been e-mailing with a good friend who now classifies himself as a recovering evangelical after spending 30 years in the church and raising three sons. My friend is mature, godly and knowledgeable. He is not a young reactionary – he is responding to the failure of our American version of church.
As I read the passionate words about his hopes and dreams – for a church where people are treated as individuals and where Christians are inspired to meaningful engagement with culture rather than simply valued for being warm bodies and filling seats, I became excited in a non-emotional sense. His hunger resonated deeply in my heart. There was a bond of shared experience and shared frustration… there was a connection.
I wrote my friend back and told him that if Antioch fails to become the kind of church we both long for that it would not be for lack of vision… it would be a failure of leadership.
Those words bounced off the screen and came right back at me.
Much of the time I try not to rock the boat, offend others or jump out in front too much. Tonight, with the weight of responsibility weighing on my shoulders, I realize that, more than anything else, I need to jump out in front, rock the boat a little and push the envelope.
Every time I miss hit a golf ball someone says “you hit it right where you were aiming.” I don’t want to succeed in helping to build a status quo church that is just another example of the failure of the American church. If I do, someone will be able to say “you hit it right where you were aiming.”