Saturday, March 06, 2010

Kick-Back Church

"Why Go to Church?" was the title of the panel discussion I was invited to participate in at a dorm at Westmont College. The panel discussion began at 8pm and I was one of four participants. Two were distinguished professors of philosophy and church history, myself and then the leader of a new church called "Kick-Back" at UCSB.
We were invited to share our background (2 PhD's, one MDiv and one Bachelor's degree in process). We were erudite and he was a bit bewildered. The story of the Kick-BAck church was that none of his friends would go to a "regular" church, so he invited them to his apartment on Sunday mornings, opened the Bible and random and kicked back and talked about the Bible.
I felt sorry for him; no degree, no seminary, no sense of church history or theology, no denominational support system, no organizational chart, constitution. It is a melt-down waiting to happen. He did not contribute much to the conversation other than agreeing with the professors and me. He was really nice and I offered him my card in case he aver needed to talk with someone.
But I have not been able to get this "kid" out of my mind. What impresses me is how seriously he takes the Bible and his assumption that he can read and understand it without a trained professional. I am sure he will get into trouble, discover residual heresies, deal with community conflict, etc.
But when I look at his cohort that I see on Sunday mornings, I am impressed. He does not see himself as a consumer target group that is shopping for a church with the best music, preaching and programs (not to mention food!). He's not sleeping in on Sundays and attending church only when he feels like it. He is the church. He's doing church (rough as it appears) and he's full of the Spirit of God.


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