My friend Stewart over at Scream Without Raising Your Voice made an interesting point in a recent post. He spoke of his church needing to look to imagination rather than memory.
This struck a chord with me... On Sunday, at the Salvation Army in Bellshill, we held a business meeting to discuss some options that have come to light with regards to the new building for the corps.
We can either move within the main street... or move to a nearby location... either way, we'll need to move from our present position. So far, so good.
It was a healthy debate with, IMHO, an obvious winner - the nearby location will be slap bang in the middle of 3 estates... with a further development planned. A space without any other church presence... unchartered territory... where we can exist for the people around us.
What amazed me were the arguments for relocating to the older building on the main street. History... Presence... Being seen..! In essence, the past... times that have passed us by... our memories of what was. Sure the building has potential for the future... but it is established... set in stone (if you pardon the pun). Sure the flag will fly on the main street... but will that bring people in? Will that enthuse us to look out? Not sure.
What we need is imagination... the ability to design the future of Bellshill... create something new rather than rely on what has been.
This quote hit me the minute I opened up the book I am reading::
Any new idea that does not raise a howl of protest is probably not a good idea. Those who are comfortable in the use of the old idea find it difficult to see the inadequacies of the old idea. If you have to imagine new benefits and you cannot achieve this effort of imagination, you have no choice except to resist the new.Edward de Bono
Maybe its me... maybe I cannot see the value in staying on the mainstreet... or maybe the chance to design the future appeals to me. Maybe too its the people who want to stay on the Main Street that cannot see the flaw in their argument. Its like shares... past performance does not predict future performance!
Thing is... at the end of the day... we can have all the imagination we want... have all the passion and vision available... but if the Lord isn't in it. If we are not doing it for Him... then we have failed.
Imagination, for me, is about having the guts to ask why not... as well as why? Imagination is about trying... experimenting... seeing what works and what doesn't. Its about getting your sleeves rolled up... Its something you do... not something you watch.
Imagination is checking out all possibilities... not accepting things as is. Its about looking behind the loin cloth of some classical statue... instead of accepting what should be there.