Let me give you just a peak into my childhood.
The church I grew up in was pretty dang conservative. Without going into unnecessary ruminations over things long since gone, one particular concept in this church has sparked my interest as of late. It’s the two words that struck both anger and fear into the hearts of even the most staunch and legalistic.
Beware the accursed label for, much like a pirate’s “Black Spot”, once it has been given to you, you will wear it to your grave. Because the church brotherhood I grew up in believed that the church was perfect and fully “restored” to the pristine blueprint of the New Testament (is there only one model of church in the NT?), anyone who attempted to change the model or expression of how church was done or developed was labeled with attempting to derail the entire holy experiment. For this particular group, “be-holding the pattern” was of utmost importance, and anyone to varied from this pattern was heretical.
It is ironic how God brings people to terms with their own terms. Over the last few years, “change agent” has become a life goal of mine, and I pray regularly for “change agents” all over this continent. Not just the church needs changing either. I’m praying for change agents who change the world. For scores of people who, with eyes fixed on a completely different culture, subvert the culture they’re working undercover in.
I’m hoping to partner and network with as many change agents as I can in Chicago. I think the church is in deep need of change; maybe the supposed “pattern” of the New Testament is about change anyway! What I mean is - wasn’t Jesus a change agent? Weren’t his followers agents of transformation that eventually swept across an Empire stuck in its ways? Isn’t the Kingdom of God itself an agent of change?
Where would this world be today if more of us refused to sit back and let things rot as they are? Why is complacency revered? Why are whole systems built on the assumption that no one will have the gumption to do something about the wrongs they see? When will there be justice? When will there be creative life bubbling over into the church? Our schools? Our homes? Our government? We desperately need change agents to break the pre-conceived “blueprints” and perfect ideas of our world.
Change agents were chided and run out of town in my church growing up - but I say we kick out the squatters. This world is a changin’.