I have this tendency to wait until I have an idea formed and completed before writing about it. However, I know that God has developed my thoughts the most in the times when I have written about them. So, by titling a post ‘brain dump’ I feel like I am giving myself the freedom to further develop ideas that are not complete.
Almost all of the writings on this site are somehow connected to spiritual life, church, and suburbia (aside from a few random rabbit trails). I have experienced church in suburbia pretty extensively. I grew up deeply entrenched in the local suburban church. Today I find myself convinced that something needs to be done differently. Yet, just as anyone would, I drift toward the experiences that I know and the ones in which I have found comfort. Having said that, I am compelled by the rumblings in my heart that suburbia needs something radically different than what it has had for the last 50 years. We should not throw the baby out with the bath water either… but we must open our eyes to see what is happening around us.
What is the problem? The suburban family has mastered the facade of cultural christianity. We are all good at giving the right answers and even knowing how often to attend a church event so that we can retain our christian reputation and moral comforts. We are really good at listening to Sunday’s preaching and nodding our heads as a profession of agreement. I would argue that we have made our ‘religion’ no different than our children’s extracurricular activities. We show up at an event in appropriate attire and endure the outing because we know that we should… it is expected of us as good suburban folk, after all.
I am left asking myself what it might really look like to see a holistic expression of gospel informed relationships in suburbia. What if we really walked through life as partners in experiencing the presence of Christ in our lives? My hypothesis is that it would be messy, difficult, and incredibly refreshing. It seems to me that these questions would raise the importance of what happens in our Monday through Saturday lives. In other words, maybe everything should not be about Sunday morning. In a culture that has greatly compartmentalized spirituality, maybe radical transformation in suburbia demands expressions of faith that are not compartmentalized to Sundays. If the church is supposed to facilitate this transformation, how does that impact the way the church approaches ministry? How do those desiring to know Christ in deeper ways truly experience an authentic expression of gospel community in suburbia?
Brain dump… accomplished.
Matt Powell serves as teaching pastor at Crossings Community Church, a body of believers whose mission is to engage, equip, and empower homes for gospel transformation in Katy, TX.