I Dream of a Church (#6)

21 02 2011

I recently started a series of entries on my blog titled “I Dream of a Church.” These are a collection of thoughts, ideas, and questions from the last several years about what a church might look like. I don’t claim for any of these to be original, ground-breaking, or otherwise amazing. You can find other entries in this series by clicking here.

#6. I dream of a church where…

We take two weeks off during the summer to road-trip as a church.

Ok, this is easily one of the most ridiculous things I have written in my notebook… at least on the surface. Because honestly, what sort of church is going to take two weeks off and road-trip together? It’s really not practical at all. (Then again, I didn’t claim that all of these would be practical). Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a church/community being able to travel across the country together on some crazy journey. It might also be especially fun on Amtrak, where people could hang out together on the lounge car… having conversations, playing games, or reading while on their way to their next destination.

However, as with many of the things written in my notebook, the real idea of this statement is “the thing behind the thing.” This idea isn’t really about road-tripping… but it’s about intentional experiences that form relationships.

Have you ever been on a lengthy road-trip? The kind during which you get to see multiple sides of your travel companions? …the ups and the downs. The joy and the sorrow. The peaceful interactions and the somewhat hostile ones. Their dreams and their fears. Because, from my experience, that’s what often comes out when you spend non-stop time around people.

If, somewhere during your trip, you don’t have a moment of, “I love you… but I need some time away from you right now, or I’m going to kill you,” I’m not convinced you’ve had an actual road-trip. Because that’s how they seem to go. …and in the end, you understand the other person better, you understand yourself better, your friendship is closer, and you’ve got some great stories to tell.

This, of course, doesn’t only happen on road-trips. It can happen on mission trips. It can happen when folks are involved in some life-giving (and life-draining) ministry together. It can happen on hiking/camping trips. It can happen when people live together. It can happen in all sorts of places and in all sorts of ways. The road-trip idea is just a signpost that points to such things.

Because, on Sunday mornings, we don’t typically have such experiences. We often only get the ups, the joy, and the peaceful interactions. (Not always, but often).

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