They were supposed to show our house today, so the puppy and I went to Petsmart to look around. She doesn't care for strange people in the house who don't let her out to play with them. The sad puppy dog eyes work on Kari but don't seem to work on potential homebuyers, plus the dog loves to visit Petsmart, so off we went.

This week Dallas had what the meteorologists are calling a "cold snap." Basically, for non-texicans, that means the weather finally dipped below a hundred degrees. There's nothing cold about a cold snap in Dallas. In fact, the weather today is sunny and nearly 70 degrees. But don't tell the Texans. Between the house and Petsmart, I counted 8 people walking outside with heavy winter coats and gloves. Eight.

Texans notoriously overreact to the weather. Two or three weeks ago, Hurricane Rita was supposed to pass over Dallas with the potential of 10 inches of rain in the metroplex. You couldn't find bottled water in the grocery stores, and there were fights in gas stations between people trying to hoard imperishable items in case of the worst. Our houses might float away, but I'll be darned if she's going to take the last Snickers bar.

Don't even mention snow around here. If the weather man even says words that rhyme with snow, people lose control of their cars, lock themselves in their homes, and light fires in trashcans in their backyards, "just in case."

And today, on the first truly beautiful day this fall, Texans are bundled up like Eskimos.

As I laughed at the sheer lunacy of what I was seeing, a commercial came on the local Christian radio station about an upcoming church conference coming to our area that promised to "completely revive today's dying church." That's when I realized it; it isn't just Texans. The church overreacts in the same way.

Why do we need a completely new paradigm for church? Why does the church need a one-hundred and eighty degree perspective switch from its previous philosophy? I've been to these radically different churches - the ones who are redoing church to "revive today's dying church." Ask them how they know we're dying, and they point to the churches seeming inability to reach the postmodern generation. So they're redoing church to "fix it." The church has missed this entire generation, so they're going after it. They're starting whole churches aimed at fixing the problem of the church. How do we know they're successful? The postmoderns are showing up in droves.

But the senior adults aren't. Neither are the middle-aged people. The kids usually come with the middle-aged people, so they're missing. We've overcorrected our philosophy so much that now, instead of missing one generation, we're missing three. Surely that can't be church the way God intended it to work.

I would argue that the vast majority of churches today don't need a major paradigm shift. They don't need to go back to the drawing board. We don't need an entire overhaul, we just need a tune-up. The world today doesn't need a postmodern church, it needs to be brought into a relationship with God through saving faith in Jesus Christ. We don't need new paradigms, we just need people who love our generation enough to share God's Word with us, and to welcome us to the family.

Earth to Dallas: lose the coat, it's seventy degrees outside.


nexenrod said...

I was up in the DFW area this weekend visiting my daughter who goes to UNT. One of her Sorority sisters introduced her to The Village Church in Highland Village. We went to the church on Sunday.....I thought the young pastor, Matt Chandler, did a great job. He's a very good communicator and is a high twenties, thirties something pastor who comes out dressed casually in jeans and shirt that's not tucked in. His congregation is overflowing and they are in the process of trying to find a bigger place......

But, the church was made up of people just like him. I may have been the oldest person there? Certainly not far from it. The worship was led by the same group of 7 or 8 man band who really blasted out the contemporary worship music.
The sanctuary had a lot of candles going (seems this generation has some fixation on candles??)

I'm all for reaching people...but I've always been taught that a healthy, well-balanced church has a cross-section of people from our society (and this one certainly didn't have that).

Chris Freeland said...

You're right. It's ironic, because the postmodern churches (or whatever they want to call themselves) are exactly what they're fighting against. They don't feel a part of the "regular" church so they create more "inclusive churches" where _they_ feel comfortable, but nobody else does.

Pecadillo said...

Chris, is that a picture of Wrigley's cousin?

They sure don't look alike. Although, neither do we.

Chris Freeland said...

Yah, it is. But I hope it doesn't hurt Wrigs' self image to see it. Make sure and reassure him that he is still the best looking male dog in the world.

Pecadillo said...

I'll let that one slide.

Hey, what ever happened to osucowboy...(I can't bring myself to type the rest) guy?

Chris Freeland said...

Apparently, I suck so much that the blog devoted to my demise was completely consumed. After the initial barrage of hatred, the guy erased his comments and his blog.

My guess is that 3rd grade computer lab time was over, and he was headed out to recess. I don't know...

Claude Henry Smoot said...

Maybe his parents made him choose between the internet and SpongeBob.