A few weeks ago while chatting with a friend about her current faith community experience, she made a comment that startled and stuck with me: “This is a make it or break it point.” We were reflecting on her participation at a fledgling worship gathering. Either her passion to see this community grow, thrive, and fly or her cynicism that “institutional” church squashes most creative/emerging sorts of worship expressions was so strong that this experience is an ultimate for her: ultimately uniting or dividing her from her present faith community.
I couldn’t quite figure out why her declaration bothered me so. Is it that I didn’t anticipate her feeling that strongly? We usually see so eye to eye. Or perhaps it’s that in times past I would’ve been right there with her believing that this new expression was needed and absolute and of course not understood by the ‘stodgy institutionalized’, but in present day I wonder what she’s hollerin’ about: how can the way we worship be more important than who we worship with? My youthful fear: have I slowly melded comfortably in with that that I railed against?
Today I read a post about the current attack/think-to-complain-about in the emerging/institutional church circles. Jason asked what I had heard about Brian McLaren’s new book: “Nothing. I don’t really read emerging church blogs anymore: they’re just kinda blah.”
The emerging church and mothering sites are what drew me initially into the blogosphere: daily I would check for new Quakes or young adults crying out for more authentic living and worship (and new funny ‘here’s the many colors of poo of my child today’ stories: when you’re sleep-deprived, they’re a hoot). As blogging’s become more normalized, posts feels very mechanical, formulaic. The topics are rehashed, and unless serious digging takes place, the grand sense is evangelical white males talking about oppression: something’s a bit off in that scenario.
While listening to a podcast about the need for Free in today’s crafting business world, a comment stuck with me: “The only thing you have to offer is your self.” He said there are a million people putting beads on wire or crafting pictures, but only you can sell your experience and your self. There’s a fine line, though, between offering your experience and personality and stories and views or becoming a commodity to be consumed, and a lot of the blogosphere feels like the later as of late.
I’m not done blogging. I’m not done seeking for authenticity. Is the lack I see enough to drive me away, to say that it’s a ‘make it or break it’ experience? I hope not, either online or in my corporate community. In an age where people seem to believe only extremes are heard over the roaring buzz of constant information consumption, I’m thinking the quieting hum that soothes my baby girl to sleep is the way to go.
[Plus, the extremes remind me way too much of my toddler, and sometimes it’s hard not to break out into giggles. “WORSHIP THIS WAY OR I’M LEAVING!” versus “MY SOCKS ARE TOO TIIIIIIIGHT!” “You picked out your socks.” “TOO TIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!” 🙂 ]