Sunday, January 13, 2008

Irresistible Revolution .2

Chapter two is titled "Resurrecting Church." This comes from a news headline following the story that Shane shares. Some of his friends see a newspaper headline that the archdiocese is kicking homeless people out of their abandoned church building in 48 hours. Shane and his friends head to that church to lend some support and upon entering they see a banner that says, "How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday and ignore one on Monday?" After that night they recruited many people from his college to be there to show support and not allow the authorities to kick out the families. All of this was announced to the media and it became a media spectacle with many public figures supporting the homeless families. Different public agencies tried quiet ways to get rid of the families but the presence of the Shane and his friends made it difficult to do so. Shane said they were never evicted because of many small miracles.
It was through these experiences that he talks a lot about what church truly is.

"Church is not a building with a steeple." Through Saint Edwards (the abandoned Catholic church), "the church became something we are."
He uses the example of a wealthy church near the abandon church the homeless families lived in. This church gave a large box donation to support the homeless families. Inside...a bunch of small boxes of microwavable popcorn. The problem with this is that they obviously had no microwaves or electricity. Around the same time the mafia came by and donated thousands of dollars and bikes to the children. "My instinct was to cry because of how far the church had become removed from the poor," he says. In the season of life he says he felt "born again...again." Though many times city officials tried to get rid of the haven for the homeless families the church had became, all of these families were able to rebuild their lives through donated housing.

I see Shane really talking about how the strength of community and relationship really made church something much more than Sunday morning.


deut-x said...

This is a great (albeit shameful) example.

I do wonder though with today's modern "emerging church/change the church/leave the church" writers, if they focus on the horrible effects of churches who do not connect and don't see some of the things that churches are doing.

For example, I know of a non-new church that put on a free health clinic recently and they were able to give out flu shots and basic health checks. It went largely unnoticed, papers didn't pick it up, no news media covered it at all - which I doubt the organizers would have wanted any anyway, because they did it to just show love.

I hope the "new" writers don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I do like the challenges they bring forth though.

Matt Singley said...

Good timing on this series from you, Shane is going to be speaking at our church tomorrow night. I'm anxious to hear what he has to say!