The “rocket ride” comment in yesterday’s post reminded me of some remarks by Andy Stanley when he came to Elevation Church in Charlotte NC for one of our leader training sessions. They are an appropriate reminder as we consider changing change.
Recalling the dispute in Antioch and the resulting Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, Stanley developed the following thoughts about what the church should be vs. gravitational pull of culture.
1. There’s always a gravitational pull toward insiders and away from outsiders
- You must continue to create empty seats at optimal worship times for the unchurched
People who were nothing like Jesus liked Jesus
2. There’s always a gravitational pull toward law and away from grace
- Have as few policies as possible and as many conversations as possible
With conversations you can always extend grace
3. There’s always a gravitational pull toward complexity and away from simplicity
- Do what you do well and do it better than anyone else
Complexity always slows things down, is expensive, and makes you lose distinctiveness in the community
4. There’s always a gravitational pull toward preserving and away from advancing
- When you start preserving, you are building walls instead of bridges
Back when we had nothing, what would we have done?
If you want to defy gravity:
- You must be a raving fan publicly
- You must be an honest critic privately with the right people in the right environment for the right reason
- You have to be extraordinarily generous
That’s how you keep the church in orbit.