Progress and Stuckness


OK, so maybe I just coined a new word there - stuckness - the state of being stuck.  In our Crowdsourcing series, as we address the big questions that we and our neighbors have about faith, what really stands out is that they are the same questions we’ve had for many decades (even centuries): science and faith, the problem of suffering, Christianity and world religions, judgmentalism and hypocrisy in the church.  We seem to be stuck with these.
But let’s talk about the progress, too.  Last week, as I looked at the rough and broken sheetrock that is still visible around our new and newly stained doors, two beautiful truths about our church hit me.
  1. We are obviously a work in progress.  Our interior paint job is better but not finished.  We still have temporary walls and curtains.  We have a thousand different improvements on our wish list, and it seems like at least a hundred are halfway done.  But we’re still welcoming in new people.  We’re a work in progress, and we know it.  We aren’t trying to hide it.  Come on in, and don’t mind the dust.  That describes not only our building but our people as well.
  2. Our progress is obvious.  The old joke asks, “How do you eat an elephant?”  -- One bite at a time.  We bought a $500,000 elephant with this old building, but we are steadily chipping away.  Paint, chairs, door stoppers, curtains, couches, carpets.  If you pay attention, you can probably see something new each week.  And that describes our people too.  We are growing in faith and mission.  Tribe, Free the Girls, Kairos Outside, World Vision at the Chicago Marathon, and local hospitality and love.  As individuals, people are taking steps of faith and courage and hope to actually live more like Jesus.  It’s beautiful. 
Maybe that progress is the answer to our stuckness.  As we live open and honest lives following Jesus with love for our neighbors, people will find the answers to their biggest questions in our lives and in our community.  May people find answers to their questions in the love and truth they find in us.