Alison I have finally become an aunt and uncle. (Hooray) And in the next couple of days we are due to become aunts and uncles again. My younger brother has been an uncle for 6 years now and so for the 1st time in my life :-), I had to ask him for advice.
"Simon, what's your advice on being an uncle?"
“just cause chaos and give them back." Was his advice, which if we are being fair to him is definitely how here's been an uncle with our children and they love him for it.
My brother's advice was wise, and I have every intention of following it and it got me thinking about church.
Often the tactic of the church, is to take someone, challenge their worldview, suggest a different moral system and value system to live by, and then to try and keep them in the church as part of the church for as long as possible. Which invariably means that within a short space of time they have left the community there once belonged to and have become part of the church family.
Perhaps, we should do church in the way my brother does being an uncle.
Maybe, we should cause chaos with someone's value system, understanding of the world, and most importantly their understanding of Jesus and what he offers them and the universe. Once we have caused chaos their understanding of the world rather than hold on to them, perhaps we should send them back to allow them to cause chaos in their communities.
When my brother taught our son to Mooney, not only did it challenge my sons worldview about what body parts he should show in public, it also caused chaos in our family when he returned with this behaviour.
Wouldn't it be great if the people the church I contact with went back into their communities and caused chaos because what they have learnt to challenge the norms of those communities.
Maybe we should see ourselves more as spiritual aunts and uncles to those Christ is in the process of saving rather than as spiritual parents wanting to hold onto them.
May you have a great week causing chaos and giving people back to where they came from.
PS now that my brother is about to have children the chaos is going in the other direction.