Someone once accused me that I “brainwashed ” members of my congregation!
I replied enthusiastically Yes! The Bible says “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds”
Since I returned to Lethbridge 3 years ago I have been part of a unique church called Mosaic. We meet in the Polish Canadian Association Hall on Saturdays and have a picture of the Pope on the Wall watching all we do, and not I think, generally approving! In addition we have a WW2 Polish General who is also scrutinizing us from the other side of the platform who’s opinion I am unable to surmise.
So after 56 years of going to church on Sunday I now go on Saturday, not because its the Sabbath but because most of the congregation are more awake then than on Sunday am. This challenged me to change my mind if I was going to be a part of this church and receive from it and give to it.
In addition the meetings are not quite “regular”. From time to time we actually get started at 7.00 pm but frequently there is “too much going on” to start the music and worship “on the dot”, so we just interact till it seems good to start. This also requires changing my mind to a different culture, since my previous mindset concluded we must “get on with it”.
During our meetings we frequently break into groups and discuss scriptures before someone gets up and tells us “what we really should believe about this verse” This leads to interesting interaction and airing of different viewpoints.
Prayer and worship of course take up time; sometimes all the time we are together as a Body! This challenges us to change our thinking because in proper churches there is a rhythm where we all know what should come next. In addition there is a sermon which must be delivered regardless of what the Spirit of God is doing! Then there’s the matter that people talk to the leader when they are teaching and sometimes start “rabbit trails”. I was always taught “focus focus!” This too requires a mind change!!
Praying for the sick was always simple before: “Call for the elders” and we watch them gravely go about the task. Nowadays we all pray for the sick, even the kids that I was always taught were the “Church of tomorrow”, not the church of today, get involved …. sometimes successfully praying for each other!
Sitting in rows was correct and they must be straight. I even went to one church where they used yardsticks to ensure correct alignment. Having some people standing or dancing at the back of the room whilst others are sitting in a formation that allows us to see faces and not backs of heads, requires a change of mindset. Then of course the times when the unpredictable Holy Spirit comes and people land up on the floor praising God, without encouragement from anyone. Then amazingly people get saved outside the place we are meeting and then come along to our ‘together’ meeting, and think this is what church was always like.
No sir! This is a new culture and so personal and intimate it requires a complete change of mind ! No spectators here! “Can a leopard change its spots?” Maybe not, but I am finding that you can teach this “old dog “, new tricks if he is willing to change his mind!!