If you have been following the political debates at all you are aware that quite the squirmish broke out about bayonets in this past debate. Truth is, we have many more bayonets now in the military (in fact the most we have ever had).
I don’t hold the fact that President Obama did not know that we still used bayonets against him because truthfully I did not know this and I actually said, “ouch” when President Obama delivered the line. I doubt Governor Romney knew either or he would have quickly jumped on that zinger. Obviously the writer on the President’s team who wrote that line in advance of the debate also did not know.
This post is not political and I ask that it stay that way even in the comments because I think there is something deeper here that we can learn about our human nature.
Human nature just assumes that “old ways” are wrong ways.
As I look at how churches grow in healthy ways I think there are “bayonets” in our arsenal that we can easily assume are ineffective and the fact is that they are still very effective weapons of warfare.
1. Prayer. There is still absolutely no replacement for prayer, conversation with God. We can try as we might to grow churches on our own but the church belongs to God. We need to pray more now than ever.
2. Love. Jesus told us that the world around us would know that we were his disciples because of our love for one another. We can be hip, cool, drink blue moon and wear cool shirts but if we do not love people we are toast. Love is old school but it is the only way to grow healthy churches.
3. Belonging. I like belonging somewhere. I like being a part of my Seacoast and ARC crew. I like being a part of my family. I like being known by my friends. Everyone wants to belong. We can start to think a show or even a great experience with God through worship can take that place. It cannot. I want to belong in my church. We just can’t take community for granted we have to actuvely build environments where community can happen.
I wonder if in a weak moment I might would say we have less need for these weapons. I wonder if I ever assume all the other things can take the place of belonging, loving and praying. I probably do. I hope I learn from bayonets.