This week has me thinking about how we are doing as a church right now in terms of existing together as a learning community. Some people are expressing dissatisfaction with how they are being “fed”. I feel some degree of tension between wanting the church to give people what they need to grow, and wanting people to put their “I need” checklists away and give themselves to the church and trust Father, Son and Spirit for the rest. I am weary of programmatic, structural solutions that promise to spit out shiny A+ believers, yet I do long to see real change in people’s lives as they encounter a living God in the midst of our church family and our community.
Doug has been playing his guitar lately, singing some of the great songs he has written over the last few years. When I first met Doug he was in somewhat of a songwriting sprint and many of the songs he has been singing lately come from that time in his life. I remember that a weekly bible study many of us were involved in was particularly inspiring to Doug and his songs of that era reflect that.
Doug has not been writing a lot of music since we moved here. A new wife, too many jobs, and of course two under two are perfectly justifiable reasons for that, but I wonder if it isn’t something else: perhaps he, like those discontent among my congregation, is feeling removed from biblical narratives with the power to inspire.
Is it not the artists of a community who sometimes give us the best read on how we are doing?