OMG! Last night I saw the most hilarious repeat episode of King of The Hill. The social commentary of this episode is just delicious.
The storyline goes like this:
1) Hank and Peggy are offended by their Church and leave it.
2) The Hills’ go Church shopping to find a place to worship. (See the clip at the end of this post)
3) They choose a “Big Box” Mega Church and get highly involved.
4) Hank gets disillusioned as he no longer has time for his friends.
5) The Hills’ return to their old Church.
If you are familiar with the Institutionalized form of Church this is quite the hoot of an episode. I have not laughed so hard in a long time.
The pattern highlighted in this episode made me pause to think about a few things.
My own journey shares the same crux as that of Hank’s. He finds that once he is immersed in the Christian Subculture he has no time for his friends. He looses touch with the world outside the Church.
As a former Youth Pastor I was so immersed in the “Church” that we lost touch with those who are not part of the community of faith. While rather unintentional on our part, the ivory tower had us.
It is hard to be a “light to the lost” when you do not have any relationship with people outside of the Christian Sub-culture. This realization was always in the back of my mind but it came into sharp focus shortly after leaving vocational ministry in the late 1990’s to get my Masters of Divinity.
Unlike the Hill’s, we did not choose the consumer driven wet dream of many denominations and egocentric pastors. We decided to detoxify from the institutional church as we found it to be caustic to our spiritual growth at the time. We wanted to BE the Church not DO Church.
By 2002 I had graduated from Regent College and we spent the next 2 years as vagabonds experiencing what God was doing in the world outside the Christian sub-culture. During this time we always stayed connected with small ad-hoc community groups of Christians.
In early 2004 we felt that it was time for us to facilitate an alternate faith community. Instead of seeking to build a “Church” we intentionally focus on living for Christ in the larger culture. Our faith community ~ church ~ what ever label you are comfortable with has grown to10 people in the last year and a half.
Now I am on the other side of the cultural dilemma. I find it hard to relate to people whose life revolves around an institutionalized form of Church. I just don’t get it anymore.
I think it is time to find the balance.
NOW: Hank Changing Churches