Culture Making

Grow to the Fifth - Launched

Some time ago (2010) I posted an idea that was dubbed "Grow to the Fifth". It was an idea to help our community grow in fruitfulness in five areas of discipleship. Additionally, it could be used as a tool to help people talk about their local faith community. Finally, it had both "insider" and "outsider" language which allows it to resonate with different kinds of people.

I am please to announce that after much work by many people at AHUMC, Grow to the Fifth is a go!

UPDATE - Here is a PDF version of the front of the Grow to the Fifth card. Also you may want to check out this site for inspiration as to how you might grow in these five practices.


Worship is like meatloaf?

Have you ever heard, or perhaps you might have said, something about worship on Sunday morning that could be mistaken for a critique of a restaurant?

"Well, that was good."
"I really liked it today."
"I will be back next week."

All of these comments, and others like them, are built upon the idea that Sunday worship is very much like a dish that is served up for our consumption. And just like after a meal at a restaurant, we have a number of comments that "evaluate" what we just experienced.

"The service was slow." 
"After that, I feel full."
"I am not sure I would go back."
"I could not read the menu."

Worship "evaluation" is built on the idea that it is just another thing we consume. If we do not like the "head chef" then we will not go back to that restaurant. If we had a good experience we might attend again, but we really would tell someone about our dislike of the music (selection or volume). 

When we are hungry we have any number of food options at our disposal and it really does not matter which restaurant we go to because they all ultimately serve the same thing - calories - just in different styles. 

Worship is consumed like meatloaf.

Worship is not something to consume. We do not attend worship in order to, like a meal, "get something out of it". We are not looking for a "nugget" that we can "chew on" for later this week. We are not attempting to "fill ourselves up" with an experience with the Holy or Mystery. 

Worship is not something we just consume, but something we participate in.

It is the difference in going to a restaurant and ordering the meatloaf so that someone else makes it and serves it to you or going to a kitchen and learning to prepare meatloaf in a class. 

Are you a TED talk person???

I was at the Fort Worth Museume of Science and History recently with my wife and son.  While walking though one of the rooms where there are these very cool light drawing pads (I hope these are a precursor to the light saber), there is a four page print out of an article entitled "Are you a TED talk person?"

I always wondered as soon as I watched my first TED talk, "If the Church is supposed to be a culture making entity, then why can the Church not host or 'be' like TED?"

What if the Church gathered together occasionally and invited people in the congregation to give their own 18 minute talk?  Heck there are even "The TED 10 Commandments"!

People pack into TED, people talk about the ideas of TED, TED is open, TED is counter cultural, TED is not afraid of new and and what is being "called" out.  It seems to me the the vacuum for culture making the Church created when we began to focus on ourselves has been filled by a number of other culture creators.

Maybe the Church cannot reclaim that culture making position on a large scale ever again (maybe it should not have been that powerful to begin with?), but local individual churches can create culture in the communities in which they are embedded.

What culture do you see being made in your local church?