Reimagining Church

Earlier in the week I quoted from a recent Fast Company article about Steve Jobs and Apple. Here is another quote that caught my attention and got me thinking:

No other company reimagines the fundamental parts of its business as frequently, and with as much gusto, as Apple does. Over its history, Apple has adopted new operating systems and underlying chip architectures several times--decisions that rendered its installed base instantly obsolete. Jobs killed the floppy disk in the iMac, and he claimed that optical drives were on their way out with the MacBook Air. Now, with the company's embrace of touch screens, Apple seems to be gunning for the mouse, a technology that it helped bring into wide use in the 1980s. Apple's willingness to abandon the past makes for better products.

Here is what I'm wondering: When is the last time church leaders re-imagined the fundamental part of their "business"? Pretty much since about 300 AD, the church has been constructing buildings, holding weekly services, teaching the Bible from an elevated platform, singing congregational songs, collecting money--and sending everyone home. Oh sure, our songs are a little peppier and some of us even use technology pretty well. But, the success of spreading the gospel is still largely gauged by number of church buildings built and the attendance at those buildings.

What would it look like to reimagine how we do church? Like I wrote a couple weeks ago--the percentage of people in our communities who will be reached by a "come to the box" type of church is small and shrinking. Alan Hirsch says that it is going to require out-of-the-box type of imagination if we are going to figure out to reach everyone else.

That is the type of imagination we are engaged in at Granger. We've asked the entire church to imagine. We've asked our entire community to imagine. And the dreams that are emerging are at a make-your-heart-beat-out-of-your-chest level of exciting.

More about that in the days to come. For now--what are your thoughts?

Tim Stevens11 Comments