I know we need them.
But, I wonder if we need them in churches.
At least in the way and to the extent they have been used for so long.
Rules written to determine who was in and who was out, who and what was acceptable and who and what was not. The part of the Presbyterian Church to which I belong has a whole book of rules. And, a whole book of what happens when the rules are broken. But, here is what I wonder about. What happens when the rules get in the way of helping people deepen their faith or find their way through a crisis or maybe for the first time in a long time feel that thechurch cares about who they are and where they are and what they are going through?
All of this is promoted because yesterday I was asked if I could help.
If I followed the rules I would have had to say No and the person’s head would have dropped and their shoulders would have slouched and they would have walked away disappointed at best and hurt at worst. Instead I said, “Let’s find a way.” and with that an opportunity was created in which God might come close. Isn’t that what I am to be about as a pastor? Isn’t that what the church is to be about as we seek to connect or reconnect with the people around us?
Right now, at least in the Presbyterian Church, rules seem more about power and control than about caring and compassion for the communities we are called to serve.
I think it is time…
I think it is past time…
To find a better way.