Monday, April 28, 2008

A Year of Java

Sometime back in the spring of 2007, a couple of guys went to a Starbucks late on a Monday night, just to discuss theology and church and whatever was on their minds.

The next week, they went back again.

Over the following months, a core group of people were showing up late on Monday nights. These people were passionate about God and about the church. They were passionate about changing the church into something more Godly and more effective for the 21st century.

We've been getting together pretty much every Monday night for over a year now. No agenda. No "teaching" or specific lesson plan. We just get together and talk. We debate scripture, philosophy, and "how to do church." Sometimes there might be more than a dozen people, sometimes there might be just four or five. The common denominator is that all of the guys (yes, it's mostly guys, but we're always looking for some female input) are passionate about God and about church and about relationships.

And now, one of our core group members is leaving. Darin has resigned from his ministry position and his family will be relocating near Atlanta in a few weeks to begin serving at a new church.

This blog is intended as an open discussion and debate among anyone on the Internet, but it grew out of many of the discussions that we've been having in person on Monday nights. This Monday night group consists of a number of church ministers, elders, and people heavily involved in the matters of God's church. We often speak of a collective "Church," but the majority of us having these discussions are all a part of one local church body. And the majority of us are eager for some change.

It's sad to think of Darin leaving. And it's sad to think of the others that are considering leaving, as well. When we aren't happy with "how things are," we push and push for change. If the change doesn't happen, if it is refused or if it can't happen under the present structure of the church, then eventually, some people are going to decide they need to go in a different philosophical direction.

This isn't just about Darin. I would guess that a large percentage of us, whether paid pastoral staff or just church members, have considered whether or not we need to part ways with our church over matters we consider to be of vital importance. And this isn't just random church shopping over petty issues of worship style or how padded the pews are. As I said, these men are passionate about God and about church, and when passionate men see problems that refuse to be corrected, they will eventually consider the costs of moving on.

So here's to Darin, and his passion, his sense of humor, his teaching, and his push for Christian community. Starbucks is going to miss him greatly.

*Edit 4/30: I'm hiding comments on this post for the time being.