i had a great discussion with eric today concerning what type of future we believe GOD has laid out for tapestry.
eric was telling me about some things he had gone through at a family member’s church recently that he hoped that tapestry would never be a part of. one of those things was what most southern baptist churches would refer to as a "revival meeting." please notice that i said a "revival meeting" not a "revival." true revivals are great things but revival meetings may or may not ever have anything to do with true revivals.
eric had just gone to a family member’s church for a series of meetings (sunday morning, sunday night, monday night, tuesday night, and additional meetings during all the days). he said the meetings basically became a way for the church members to spend even more of their time in the church building and thereby interact with the outside world even less. i thought it was pretty ironic that he would describe it this way since this meeting is the cultural vestige of a revolutionary concept from the 1800s.
the first tent meetings or camp meetings were entirely new ways of sharing the gospel in the frontier regions of the united states. there weren’t many churches around in these frontier areas and camp meetings became the way to share the good news of JESUS CHRIST with people who had no easy way of hearing it. they were somewhat controversial during their time but they were effective. the second great awakening came out of meetings like this.
of course, now they are no longer controversial or revolutionary. in fact, i would dare say that for many churches eric’s statement is spot on (not all – of course, i’m sure you’re church would NEVER be one of these) – they really are just "a way for the church members to spend even more of their time in the church building and thereby interact with the outside world even less." it’s funny, and sad, how revolutionary ideas often become cultural obstacles years later. when that happens the church should celebrate what was accomplished through them and then stop using them. after all, these things are just tools, they aren’t the gospel. tools can and should be replaced with new ones when they are no longer useful.
i agree with eric. i hope tapestry continues to stay a place where we are more concerned with the revolution than we are with maintaining cultural vestiges.