Monday, February 02, 2009

MacGyver Church

I awoke the other day with a realization that we need to become more like MacGyver in how we do church.

For years it seems we have tried to things more like a Military Mechanic. We have a precise way to do church. We have the instructions before us. If things don't work right then we go back to the manual, try to diagnose the problem through the means it sets forth.

When we can't find the problem we just keep working with a broken product. But, it seems it gets worse than that. If we know what the problem is, but we do not have the right tools to take it apart, put it back together, or heaven forbid, the right part to put back in place of the broken one, then we stall out. We sit and wait for the part or the tool to arrive. The parts and the tools are old. We have to wait for back order, and to find the technician that knew how to run that tool from back in the day. If we don't have the money to pay for the part, the tool or even the technician, then we sit back and wait for the next item to fall off, and scramble to fix it.

Ultimately we wind up watching the whole thing fall down around us. It reminds me of the old adage.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Maybe we need to start thinking like MacGyver. MacGyver wound up in some horribly tight places. Someone's life was always on the line. He was left with none of the normal tools we would be looking for to fix the problem. The solution often involved multiple everyday things, rather than the big fancy tools.

Church always has on the line someone's life as well. We need to take seriously this is an issue of life and death, right here and now, and for eternity. Lives are in the balance, ours and those we affect. We are now in an age where the "normal" tools are just not available, especially to the small church, and large church is having to fashion its own tools as they break new ground too. We need to take advantage of those things that are right around you.

The duct tape and swiss army knife MacGyver is so well known for are the people, skills, talent and knowledge, let along the ingenuity, of the local church. We can cobble together the right tools and parts to make our setting the best possible, but we need to stop waiting for the "right" tool or part, and use what is right in front of our faces.




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