-Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President
Are we, the people of God in the world today, a people of fascination? Are we even interesting, remotely relevant, or somewhat important to our communities? I'm not asking these questions of our worship services, programs, or preaching, I'm wondering whether we, as the people of God, are living lives that reflect God in us. Are we fascinating? Are we interesting, inspiring, encouraging, resilient, faithful, loyal, people of integrity?
I'm wrestling with this personally. Have I risked anything for the Gospel? In what ways am I fascinating, interesting, encouraging, and making a difference for Christ in my community? I try to do this through the influence I have in coaching. Because I coach in the public school, my influence is mostly subtle and almost entirely through my actions alone, but I believe Jesus is working.
I have a desire, however, to pursue this idea further. Where else can I be fascinating, or can I be pointing people to the God of fascination?
Here's where I'm going with all this: I would contend that the reason we're not as fascinating as we once were, is that we've lost our imagination, or ability to be creative. Our ideas have dried up or are stuck in a foregone time. We fight culture wars to preserve what once was. We argue, "Well, we've never done it that way before!" Or, we look to the culture around us and try to spiritualize good ideas already in existence. We aren't using the brains our ever so creative Creator gave us!
I'm reading a book that is both challenging and encouraging me to think up new thoughts about Church. Specifically, I'm reading a book that is teaching me how to think up new thoughts; that is, how to create a culture of imagination and fascination within the Church. The book, Hatch! Brainstorming Secrets of a Theme Park Desginer, by C. McNair Wilson. What a book it is! I recommend reading it if you have ever been frustrated with brainstorming gone nowhere or planning sessions that are all planning with zero implementation. I'm challenged to both create and participate in a place where creativity and curiosity is encouraged, and particularly in youth ministry, I think this could be HUGE!
I hope you'll consider grabbing this book. I also hope you'll consider using your imagination and God-given creativity to examine, brainstorm, and launch some big ideas in your context. Let us once again become a people of fascination, that the whole world would take notice and be pointed to God, the Creator of all things.