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A Model for the Church

I’m back home from four days in Detroit. The good news is that I finished the boring part of the sleeves. I also got lots of cotton spun. Meetings are good for craft work, if you can get away with it. (Usually, I just go ahead, regardless. I listen better when my hands are busy.)

I was in Detroit because that’s where my denomination will be hosting its biennial gathering. They bring us middle judicatory types to the location early so we can check it out and report back home. I’m pleased to report that downtown Detroit is lovely, and no more dangerous than any other big city – maybe even less so. A coalition of local businesses and government want to keep the tourists happy and coming.

The best part was when one of the speakers compared Detroit to the mainline church.

Detroit was built on an unsustainable model. So was the mainline church.

Detroit is suffering a severe population decline. So is the church.

The people who live in Detroit want to be there. So, too, with the church.

Finally, Detroit is rebuilding itself with innovation and creativity. Can the church do the same?

Can we? Creativity is more than craft work. It’s life work. Creativity and imagination are always a blessing, even when we mess up.

The other point that impressed me was from a younger judicatory exec, who pointed out that his generation, unlike mine (I’m a boomer), doesn’t know what the church used to be. They’re not struggling with a sense of loss, but rejoicing in the gifts of the present. That’s also a gold mine for creativity.

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