Martin Luther King taught a course on Social Philosophy – had only 8 students
Everyone else at Morehouse Bible College “missed their moment”
What is our "moment" today? Does the ELCA get to wear the IWT button, or an MIA button?
(IWT – I Was There MIA – Mission In Action)
- Sociographic -- We have not claimed the moment that God has given us
- Christographic – we don’t know what to “lift” up
It’s in our Lutheran DNA to create revolutions.
The invention of the cell phone in 1973 created two groups
“Immigrants” – born before 1973
“Natives” – born after 1973
We are in a TGIF (Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook) world; no longer a Guttenberg world.
2/3 of the world’s population is connected via cell phone
- It’s not just western, educated, industrial, democratic that use this technology
You don’t get to pick your moment – and the church is missing its moment
Are we going to claim, for the sake of the gospel, the revolution that is taking place in our world?
The bell-curve is no longer the normal distribution of society. It’s upside-down (looks like a well-curve)
The world is simultaneously becoming more local/tribal and more global/universal
- Previous Model: Rural --> Small Towns --> Urban --> Suburban
- Since 1980s: People are wanting to live in Small Towns --> Rural --> Urban --> Suburban (last)
People want to be part of an authentic community
People want to walk to church / store / school
We are moving away from “parking lot churches” to “pedestrian churches”
The new standard of excellence is not the quality of the performance but the quality (diversity?) of the participation
The interface that connects with
Guttenberg Culture --> Rational ~ Linear ~ Performance ~ Principals ~
TGIF Culture --> Experiental ~ Participatory & Interactive ~ Image & Story ~ Connections & Relationships
We are not a concert culture, we are a karaoke culture
The interface will only last for another 20 years
The worst crisis any species can have is a reproduction crisis
The “operating system” of the Christian faith:
Mission --> go into all the world
· How do we re-focus our congregations
· We are presently more in the business of “come” than “go”
Relational --> make disciples of Jesus Christ
· Christianity is the only group that defines “truth” as a person
· Jesus says follow me…and my actions (not my teachings, sound bites, principals)
· We need to be in the business of showing love of Christ through relationships
Incarnational --> be the gospel in all of the world
· Christianity spreads itself as a seed, not a “potted plant”
The church needs a “re-boot” – get everyone on the same “operating system”
Is the Christian universe really a you-niverse?
If FOOTBALL is the metaphor for the church, we need to move from defense to offense…and not spend too much time in the huddle.
A move toward a centralized church is a move away from Jesus (who always is found in the margins)
What are the administrative structures required for a TGIF world?
We are a church that has memorized VERSES and not STORIES. We need to get back to telling stories.