Experimentation and evolution
My family all laugh and warn each other to “Never say never” as far as I am concerned. Like this is a bad thing. OK, so I am constantly (in my husband’s opinion) moving furniture around and rearranging rooms. I am prepared to change my mind. I have grown to love football. I am adapting with age. I believe in better – the hope of improved relationships, improved behaviour in the home, improved positive effect on the world that I live in…. – and am looking for steps to take, changes to make, to bring about that evolution.
And evolution is good. Experimentation is good. According to Michael Moynagh in the book emergingchurch.intro that I have just read and enjoyed –
“For God has chosen experiments to propel creation. What is evolution if it is not a history of experimentation? One species flourishes, another doesn’t, a third mutates. It is as if each is asking “What will work in this context?” The natural world is a living laboratory, constantly learning.” (p40-41)
And the same is true of human history – the advances of civilisation, industrialisation, technology. Some things have worked. Some things have not. Some things have been pure genius. Some things have been plain ridiculous. Sometimes we have said “This used to work but it doesn’t any more. What will work better?”
And so the same is true of church. In many cases, church is not working. Phrases like “We’ve always done it this way” “We don’t do things like that here.“ “That wouldn’t work here” are stifling the adventure that is the journey of faith of the Body of Christ. Is it time to embrace experimentation? (if this interests you, then that book is a good start).
And what about us as individuals?
In a recent interview I heard, Rob Bell was asked to comment on the fact that he had changed quite considerably in the last ten years. (the implication was that this was a bad thing). In true Rob Bell fashion, he turned it around “Have you changed in the last ten years? Haven’t we all changed in the last ten years?” How sad would it be if we looked back and felt that we had not changed at all? If we had learnt nothing from all our experiences, our relationships, our study? If God had not revealed more to us and we had not grown in Him? What a waste that would be. How futile those ten years would have been.
A friend of mine who had never opened a Bible two months ago and is experimenting with attending church posted this comment on Facebook yesterday –
“XX is working towards a pure heart J”
Isn’t that what sanctification is all about? In practice. On Facebook.
Change is so exciting. Experimentation is risky and scary, but can lead to great places. Evolution opens up a world of possibilities.
Never say never.