We are about the commemorate (which means we may remember it or we may not) the 498th year of the Reformation. Nearly 500 years ago Martin Luther raised some challenges to the Church at the time… and was kicked out eventually.
A little reformation every once in awhile may be good… if you’re willing to get kicked out.
We probably have no idea of what “reformation” may look like. We have ideas of how we want to “change” things… but putting drums on a church stage isn’t “reformation” in worship. It’s re-arranging furniture.
I have no big ideas for “reformation.” I, like Luther, would like a RETURN to some things. And they’re not big ideas. These are just simple longings of my heart.
- I would love a CHANGE in how we think of “Church” in our current American context. We’ve talked about how we realize there is a “consumer” mentality… but then the biggest voices tend to go back to their megachurches and they keep consuming. I would love to see a more solid ecclesiology development especially among my tribe: the Pentecostals. We need an anchor in the CHURCH of Jesus Christ. He is the Head… and the Head has a BODY. And the Body of Christ is vital.
- I would love us to quit worshiping worship.
- I would love a return to true intergenerational fellowship and development and quit segmenting age groups. We need to speak into each other’s lives, but each age group has so little respect for another age group. The other day I was talking with a student and let him know we need each other. I learn from 20-somethings, but 20-somethings also need to understand they can learn from old guys like me as well. And every once in awhile 20-somethings still need old guys to slap them upside the head and say, “HEY! Quit being dumb! Fly straight!” and 20-somethings need to learn how to hear it. (And for guys like me, I’m still needing that same action from older saints as well!)
- I would love to see pastors get deeper in the Word… and for academics to quit harassing us for being too shallow. I long for academics to get out of their offices and instead of decrying a lack of education among pastors, go serve a small church and try it on for size. Realize the battle we go through as pastors and we don’t have all the time in the world to parse Greek verbs, but that doesn’t make us schmucks all the time. AND I would love for pastors to dig into some deeper thinking and reading and move beyond the fluff that passes for “cutting edge” reading these days. (And while we’re at it, let’s quitting using that dumb phrase.)
A few thoughts on a grouchy morning as we head into Reformation Day. Maybe that’s how Luther got into all this trouble: he woke up grouchy one day.