My little window on the world has changed over the years. From gravel drives, to brick and mortar and city alleys, to now, a little cement and a busy road with an always interesting if not dangerous intersection in my line of sight. Most of you already know that you have to be NASCAR ready once you leave the church parking lot.
I often find myself glancing out my little window sometimes just to refocus and ponder my thoughts and what God may be telling me (especially if I’ll listen). Other times just the volume of traffic or someone laying on their horn gets my attention. Where is everyone going? What is on their minds? Are they lost? Are they watching or listening?
As pastor, one of the things that can be dangerous is having a mindset that keeps you on the inside looking out. The church also must guard itself against a “only looking at the outside world from the inside”. In other words not being engaged with the changing community.
I am amazed by just how much we are already “in touch” with our community. We have a number of ministries in place that impact the lives of children and families of Colona and our surrounding areas. Yet like road conditions can change quickly in the winter, we must be mindful of the constantly changing conditions of the community as well. We must not only see for ourselves what is changing, we must be engaged in the hearing of the changing needs. Both require our presence in the community and not our presence in the safety and security of the church facility.
When I was growing up, the trend was a new language and new trends in style like long hair for guys, bell bottom jeans, mini-skirts, slogans like peace and love, and slang that sounded “far out”, “groovy”, “make love-not war”. There were strange people in our communities that were called ‘hippies’, all these seemed to upset the establishment. Segregation was slowly making its way to the door.
Pockets of resistance to change remain even today. Our points of contention go deeper than contemporary versus traditional worship. Our window on the world gives us a view of the depths of divisiveness that cuts much deeper today than what we expressed in the sixties and seventies.
From my little corner of the world, I am today aware that my window is not a “stop and hold” position but one that reminds us to continue to move beyond our window and go into the world.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mark Horn