I’ve been doing a lot of self-exploration this week. One of my mentors taught me to take a study leave four times a year. This study leave is my first time in a year. You can tell I don’t like to spend this much time in the quadrant of important not urgent.
We live in such urgent times. We live in a time where everything is immediate, and everything seems immediately essential, i.e., massively distracting. So I’m asking the question today, what’s important? This got me thinking about us as a culture and how we don’t know the answer to that question right now of "what is important.". This age is one where almost everything seems as if nothing is important. Indeed, our foundational institutions are not necessary; we have torn them down.
I grew up in a generation where our best band’s number one hit was titled “Nevermind”. So I understand not believing the best of foundational institutions, in fact, I’ve been part of the process. But as I was talking to a new friend and mentioning this issue, he came up with the line, ” If not them, then what?”.
We’ve torn down all of them: starting with God, then we move to our teachers in our schools, our parents, and family and all its foundations, government, 🐋The Church indeed, music, other people, Friends, marriage, parenting, family, gender, and everything else I won't have time to mention.
So here we are standing on a vacant piece of ground that once held the house of our culture. I used to make a living in construction and sometimes I would tear down a house. But the reason we destroyed that house was that you were going to build another one. There was a dream attached to the tearing down. There was a plan. In fact we went so far as to get cultural or city approval of those plans. We hired an architect to make the arrangements. We went to a bank and got money to tear down the house to rebuild the home, which we had plans for, which we got city approval for, which we put on the market, which we presented to the culture in the hopes that an individual would purchase it.
So what am I saying?
Folks, I think we have torn these things down, our foundational institutions, without any idea of what came next. We now are looking at the vacant lot of our culture, nation, and institutions and it scares us and excites us. Part of ourselves is happy with the sections we had a hand in tearing down. Those pieces of life hurt us deeply, cut us to the core of our being. We couldn't live in a house that existed with the things we destroyed. It's just that I don't think we could see the future and certainly didn't have a plan of rebuilding through all of our pain and all of our frustrations. How could we?
I also believe that many of us have started to realize that there isn't anything left on the lot to live in and sleep on when we are tired and need rest. It scares us to our core. Or at least it mildly concerns us for the future. We might have found a sleeping bag of sorts, and that will work for now. But, somewhere deep inside you is that reality and you have avoided recognizing it. It has almost seemed like a conspiracy theory. Like a weird dream. What do we do when there isn't anything left to believe in, to live in, to live for, to dream about?
But there is hope.
We are gathering a group of people who no longer think it valuable to tear down but are ready to build again. Don’t get me wrong we’re tearing stuff down, but this time we have a plan. We are gathering a group of people who wants to build their own house on a street in a neighborhood in the city. These houses are our lives; these houses are our families, these houses are the values, the principles, the new institutions, the new faith, even our daily routines.
We are gathering a group of people who are ready to build a new kind of community.
We call it, The Church KC. Basic, simple, a starting point, a beginning.
I invite you to join us! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring people you have met along the way, bring back your hope, bring back your dreams, bring back your positive emotions, bring back your faith.
Let's start building the ‘then what’ today!
Pastor Drew Smith