Not normal… (Tale of Two Churches Pt. Deux.)

One of the many things that messes with me about the previous post is a quote from Bill Hybels, speaking at the Cedar Creek 10 year anniversary:

“My greatest fear,” he told the crowd, “is for you to think this is normal. This is so not normal.”

Not normal. He’s referring to it not being normal for a church to care about preChristian people enough to make its main meetings & functions intentionally accessible, understandable, & desirable for the preChristian. What’s normal is to be so “spiritual” and chock full of specialized language one has to be an industry insider to “get it.”

I want to be “not normal” , & really want Hillside (heck, every church that calls on Christ as Savior & Master,) to be “not normal.” What do you think are the non-negotiables to be & stay “not normal?”

8 thoughts on “Not normal… (Tale of Two Churches Pt. Deux.)

  1. Be authentic and recognize when you’re assuming a “religious” persona and when it’s the real thing.

  2. A culture of acceptance must be nurtured. To be and remain “not normal”, “not normal” people must be made to feel accepted.

    Encouraging diversity (not just racial, but diverse viewpoints, etc.). The clone army is unhealthy.

    The truth must not be neglected or ignored, but should be administered in a healthy, patient, Holy Spirit led way. A lifestyle (churchstyle) of patient long-term discipling must replace the borg mentality of “we will assimilate you.”

    I probably said the same thing three different ways . . . just call me ramblin’ T.

  3. I’d have to say that a non-negotiable would be the reaching out factor, which is one thing that kept me at Hillside (Life Center at the time) four years ago… Why would I continue to go someplace where I didn’t know anyone? Every other church I had attended for a couple months prior to Oct. 2001, I was able to go through the entire service and “reception” time without meeting a single person…

  4. Dont worry brother, you are not normal. You are abby normal. I know because I shared a room with you in my childhood. You could have at least payed for my therapy.

  5. love each other truly. not just in word but in deed. sometimes this only comes when we ask for God’s love. be a safe place for the broken we must be a soft place to fall. not judging but always encouraging one another that when and if we fall we get back up by the help of our friends who will point in God’s direction with loving hands.
    3. finally we must have alot of grace for each other, because we are all in process, NO ONE is ever perfect and so therefore we all make mistakes and need to know that we won’t be judged but encouraged to keep on keeping on!!
    i also probably said the same thing 3 times.
    call me rambling n.

  6. be real, even when it hurts. being open & honest sets hillside apart. we stayed because we saw authenticity. and love.

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