Creating a Desert in Your Oasis
Many years ago in a former church we planned something to shock us out of our habits. We simply said, “in the 7th year of our Sunday School program, we’ll do something completely different in that time slot.” We called it, “The Year of Jubilee.” (The biblical year prescribed in the OT to “set the prisoners free” and forgive debts.) You can read about our Year of Jubilee here.
Crisis is indeed the mother of invention, …even a contrived crisis such as a promise to “do everything different for a time.” In my experience, the process of wandering through that kind of desert begins to change your thinking. Update: In 2015 we left a church. Got tired of the preaching, style of worship, and way some things were handled. Drive was too far anyway. Now we’re in search for a new watering hole. You can learn a lot about your faith when you’re in-between churches….
What amazing ministry might you discover if…
- Your sanctuary closed for the summer?
- The classrooms all had to be closed this fall?
- The choir couldn’t find any of its old music this year?
- The Men’s Fellowship only met in homes this year?
- The youth group only met once a month for a service projects, and went on four different kinds of retreats this year?
- You decided to hold a monthly special services at scenic locations?
- The Lenten study was held with another church.
- or ___________________________?
- and __________________________?
- and what about __________________?
My work with software in Christian education and the Workshop Rotation Model for Sunday School began because I was challenged to STOP what I was doing, and come up with something different. At the time, I didn’t know if “different” was going to be “better.” But funny how it often turns out that way!
Moving out of the suburbs of Ohio was our challenge to STOP and live differently. And yes, eventually we replanted ourselves here in suburban Florida. But I can truly tell you that, while I’m here again, I am not in the same place I was 5 years ago. And having just moved on from a congregation where we started to feel uncomfortable in, I’m not even in the same frame of mind about “churches” as I was 1 year ago.
The wilderness is not a bad place to clarify.