I am fascinated by church. I'm still crazy about it. I will die before I will have figured out about 1/1000th of God's intent. And, I fear I just bragged for I really will not get that close.
I am driven by the wonder of my God and my privileged calling. The yearn for "church alive" has never left me one day; not one day. The reason for that craving is because church in all communities has been presented as so typical. We do church things church ways using right phrases while keeping everyone from being radically changed.
Enter. Sing-sing. Sip-sip. Pray-Amen. Exit.
Conformity, not transformity, has become our game.
We assert ourselves to attend to the young, embark on good works, straighten the songbooks and remember the old. A quarrel or two may break out but we will all make up at casket day. The eight hundredth verse is the same as the first.
Churches have gone stale because we began to follow one another (church following church, tradition following tradition) long ago. Jesus' name seemed to stay intact; but not his Spirit. Thus rote meandering developed. Can anybody say Wilderness Wandering?
Bob Goff wrote, There's nothing wrong with being typical, I guess, but there is nothing fundamentally right about it either. I've never read in Genesis that God created "typical" and called it good. Instead, I think men who were bored made up typical and called it, if not good, at least acceptable. People who follow Jesus, though, are no longer typical--God is constantly inviting them into a life that moves away from typical. Even if they have normal jobs, live in normal houses, and drive normal cars, they're just not the same anymore.
The ones Jesus first picked to follow Him started out typical, to be sure. They were unschooled and ordinary. Fishermen, business people, blind people, loose women, rip-offs, and vagrants.
It seems that the more we catch a glimpse of Jesus working with and among us, the more we seem to note "this isn't typical". Not surprisingly, such moments give the church an incredible boost of Spirit energy.