When “It Still Works” Isn’t Good Enough

old kitchen lightsFor the better part of a year, my wife and I have been renovating the house we call our home.  While we have updated many houses over the years, this time our efforts are more comprehensive.  We are committed to refashioning it to our tastes and to remaking it for 2016.  As the first phase was nearing completion, it became clear a second phase was needed to handle items that still worked fine but were no longer good enough.

When 1989 was placed side-by-side with 2016, it was hard to ignore how very outdated 1989 looked.  For example, the lighting pictured in this post is some of what had been attached to our kitchen cabinets.  In place of these bulky fixtures and florescent bulbs we now LED light bars.  While both produce light using electricity, nearly everything else about them differs.

So What?

Churches often change more slowly than the world around them.  This tendency is more common in congregations that have been around for a long time.

I am far less concerned about the outdated lighting that may be within the walls of the buildings on the church campus than I am with the way a faith community understands their identity, lives into their calling, and makes real the realm of God on earth.  If any of that is stuck in 1989 (or 1960 or any other year) because someone thinks it still works (that is, it works for them and/or a select group of long-timers) then there is a problem.

  • Have you ever encountered a church that was stuck and either didn’t realize it or didn’t choose to address it?  What was that experience like?
  • What are some of the most common examples of things churches hold on to that became outdated years ago?

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