P.J. O’Rourke once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to do the dishes.” I could rework O’Rourke’s quote to say, “Everyone wants to live the Christian life, but we just don’t want to put forth the effort.” And it is an effort.
Greg Williams, reviewing the book The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us by Sarah Arthur and Erin Wasinger writes, “One of the most common critiques of radical Christianity is its root implausibility in the culture of the modern family.” We are just too blame busy, too high strung, too competitive, and too insecure to model the way of Jesus. We want to live the Christian life, but how when the culture of the modern family doesn’t allow it?
I think it’s about doing the dishes. It’s not particularly challenging work, but it takes discipline to keep from living in a mess.
This fall I want to practice Cross Generational Ministry using the “Faith 5” model. “Faith 5” is a way to act in church that’s not particularly challenging, but it takes discipline. The 5 of “Faith 5” is Share, Read, Talk, Pray, and Bless. Church Council begins our meetings with “Faith 5.” We share highs and lows. We read an appointed Bible verse, often from Sunday’s lessons. We talk about how that verse speaks to our lives often in relation to our highs and lows. Then we pray about what we talked about. And finally we bless each other. We go around the room and bless our neighbor in a way we are comfortable. We can spend a solid forty five minutes practicing “Faith 5,” and we still complete the meeting in two hours. More importantly, we connect to each other as we chart the vision for Prince of Peace.
Rev. Rich Melheim says that we need to do the business of the church, before we do the business of the church. Perhaps it’s all about doing the dishes.
We will have two opportunities to practice Cross Gen Ministry using the “Faith 5” model as we now begin the fall season. Instead of formal Sunday School, we will offer “Table Talks.” Our youngest to our oldest at Prince of Peace will be invited to sit at table and practice “Faith 5.”Â Rich Melheim says, “here the wonder of the child meets the wisdom of the elder.” While most of our days are about dividing the generations to their respective places, this will be an effort to bring our generations together.
The second opportunity is an invitation to share a meal on Wednesday September 27th, to explore ways that we can connect and covenant with each other to share our faith. I know, culture will tell us that such a model is implausible, we are too busy, and this sounds too weird, and maybe a little too risky to do church in this way; but I really believe it’s about doing the dishes, having the discipline to really practice the faith.
I’m telling everyone that I am both terrified and excited about the fall. Terrified because I don’t know exactly what this will all look like. But maybe that’s just the point. Maybe we can offer a new model of passing on the faith that really connects us to Christ and each other, and really does make a difference in the crazy lives we lead. And that can be very exciting.
It’s time to do the dishes.