I wrote last fall about pivot points. Pinch points are different. They hurt, sometimes just a tiny bit and sometimes like crazy.
Ouch happens in a growing community. If we are serious about becoming congregations that resemble the reign of God, there will be discomfort and we Christians usually prefer comfort. We like the comfort food of recognizable music and liturgy. We like the comfort food of longtime friends and familiar faces. If the people look, sound, pray, dress like we do, it’s just easier. Many of us are in church for ourselves.
Yes, church is about service in Jesus’ name, but between the worship and education of us inside and service to those on the outside, one is usually dominant. And too many times, what’s dominant is not service to those on the outside.
I’ve been in enough church meetings to know that we church people care a lot about our personal comfort. And so when we feel a pinch because new people are taking leadership positions, or someone threw away the tablecloth I donated, or the new pastor sings the benediction, or that gay couple wants to get married in the sanctuary, or the new church letterhead is orange and I don’t like orange – it hurts. Sometimes it pinches a tiny bit and sometimes it pinches like crazy.
Imagine the pinch when we decide it’s time to talk about our white privilege.
Image from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport last Friday.