‘No problem can be solved from the same level of thinking that created it.’Albert Einstein
What do we do these days when we don’t know what to do? I look at my phone. I scroll and see – problems.
The market is down, that virus is worse, and there are no toilet rolls. Two Christians on my ‘social’ media feed moved in one line from theological disagreement to point scoring and personal attack.
The momentary distraction has pulled me in too long and too deep again, heightening not awareness but anxiety. The phone was not smart after all. The solution feeds the problem.
I look away and refocus on where I really am. Take a breath, thanking God, I count my many blessings.
Even then, I don’t want my personal gratitude to come at the cost a lack of clarity, care or concern about the millions on this planet confronting its horrors without hope, or headed to an eternity without Jesus. I pray because I still believe the Church is the hope of the world, but how does Good News even get a hearing in the information age? The solution appears to be the problem.
The Church in the west has tried, tried and tried again – and by and large been found wanting – because people don’t want it. We’ve offered a God who people don’t desire, a community where they don’t belong, an institution they distrust.
Why should they see any it differently, if we won’t?
One of the most interesting learnings from modern biology, now being applied to systems, is the principle of autopoiesis – “self creation or self-production”. The rule that something can only be called alive if it has the ability to sustain and reproduce itself. On that basis, how many of our churches are alive? How many of those who claim to be alive in Christ are self sustaining or ever reproduce disciples?
Thinking about it the same way will only result in more of the same. We need a REFRAME; to look again at how we see God, people, and his mission through the Church.
I thank God for my friend Alan Hirsch. I think I first heard the Einstein quote from him about ten years ago and I’ve been trying to think different ever since. I still have a lot to unlearn. Alan’s helped many of us change our paradigms. The Church he invites us to see and be is not a declining ancient monolith but the dynamic apostolic movement Jesus described, changing the world and charging down the gates of hell.
From the 16th to the 19th November 2020 a cadre of global practitioners who are biblically reimagining church will gather again with hundreds of fellow leaders at the Edge conference centre in Wigan, Greater Manchester. They will challenge, equip us three ways, across three days as the book invites, “stretch our minds, expand our hearts, and awaken ourselves and those around us to the grand story of God.”
When we REFRAME
- We will see God bigger than we have yet known him.
- We see a world more ready than we have realised.
- We will see a Church aiming less at the moving target of relevance to get ‘them’ to come; more focused on getting ‘us’ to go and join in where God is working already.
Hundreds have booked in already, with more coming as teams this year than ever before. Please book now, join us, and do what you can to spread the word.