Half-Assed Sunday School
There's this guy in my Sunday School class that I really appreciate. He grew up Catholic, and often brings a fresh perspective to our very Baptist way of doing things. Yesterday was one of the days where Chuck did it again. He unintentionally performed the greatest object lesson our Sunday School could ever have had.
You will likely be hearing a lot about my church in the coming weeks because we are, quite honestly, becoming something different. We're still God's church, but we are striving to achieve a new level of relationship with the communities surrounding our building. We are striving to be servants to the world where God has placed us. Hopefully Nashville will come to know us by our fruits.
I say all of this to say that yesterday's Sunday School class (not taught by me, thankfully) was about how we should build bridges to the community. We talked about how we had things to bring to the community and how the community had things to bring to us. And we also talked about the murky waters we had to transverse with the bridge. There was a whole list of things, including prejudice.
And during that discussion, Chuck said that we had to avoid 'scope-creep' or we would end up doing a half-assed job.
The entire room squirmed. Except me. I loved it. Because right there was a living example of what we were talking about. Here is a man from a different cultural background using a phrase that seems crude (but actually isn't) to discuss a real issue. And I thought to myself "if we get this upset about some guy saying "ass", then how on earth will we be prepared to welcome all of these new people we're going to be reaching? What happens when new Christians come to church and bring their culture--or lack of "church" culture--with them?
You know, it's a really interesting discussion to have. Especially for a person like me who doesn't believe that seeker-driven churches are appropriate. So where is the line? How do you say that some things are essential (Baptism) and some things are cultural (wearing fancy clothes)? How do you then say that you can relax on the culture without sacrificing the essential?
How do you do all of this without making it look half-assed?