what we publish ...
I've come to a conclusion.
What we write about (and what we share on social media) reveals what we think about. The volume of what we publish betrays the sum of our fears, and features the scope of our vision.
It's not rocket science, I know ... but let's think about this for just a moment. What we publish conveys more about where our thoughts converge than what we might first suspect.
In 100 years time, digital archaeologists (if they exist) will paint a picture of what primarily concerns us through what we publish - our internal motivations can be ascertained through the mass of material we create, comment on, like, and share.
Here's an example.
The last couple of weeks I've noticed something - there seems to be a number of articles being shared by Christians about why people are leaving the church, what to say to those who have left for the 'wrong reasons', etc., etc.
If what we write about and share reveals (or betrays) what we focus on, then what do these sort of articles reveal and betray?
I wonder - if it's true that our focus is on the need (or our failure) to contain people in what we call church - then we have a problem.
And the problem is bigger than music style, personal offense, and meeting people's felt needs. The problem is that thinking about this problem means that we're not thinking about something else.
If our energy is being poured into the containment of our sheep, then it might be that the pen we're keeping isn't big enough, and the story we're telling probably isn't big enough either.
When I think about the movement of Jesus and the early church, I struggle to find any occurrence where they felt they needed to strategize about how to keep people ... It seemed like they were more concerned about reaching people and loving people.
Reaching people means extending beyond where I would normally go.
Loving people means ... Well, it means far more than finding ways to bring them through the doors of my purpose-built edifice.
Anyway - my challenge for us is this: publish other stuff ... Write about how awesome Jesus is; or about a local community need; or find an unsung hero and tell us how you're seeing God shine through in unexpected places.
It might even be that as we focus on living and telling the gospel, the numerical decline among young adults in genuine expressions of church could turn around in the meantime.
Let the digital archaeologist in 100 years time discover that we imagined something more than the need to justify our declining existence.