I am getting ready to move again. I say again because this will be the second time I have moved in about a year. This will make the fifth time I have moved total in my life. All within the past eight years. According to my wife she has moved to a new place every year for the past four years. So she is not new to moving, and neither am I. As someone who spent 18 years of his life in the same house I despise moving.
There are a lot of little details that I don’t like. Change of address, moving the utilities into your name, driver’s license change, license plate change etc. I think the one aspect I hate the most though is unpacking. I can pack a box pretty quickly. Put the stuff in, tape it shut, label it and put it on the truck. That part is pretty easy, but I can’t stand having all those boxes, with all that stuff, just sitting in various rooms waiting for me to figure out where to put it once I get to the new place. Items that looked good and felt right in one room at one house don’t look right or don’t fit quite right in the new house. It’s interesting to me that every time I move I always have more stuff to take with me than when I first arrived. It’s also interesting to me that I have not even been in this house long enough to unpack everything I own. A lot of stuff is still taped up and ready to go on the truck.
While I was packing a box today I was hit with what I would call a “duh” moment.
1) Unpacking is hard and it takes time.
2) Churches that don’t keep disciples usually do not create an environment where unpacking is required and allowed.
3) People who church hop usually do so because they don’t want to take the time and effort to unpack all their junk.
Church leaders: Maybe the issue is not the music, the preaching style, the look of the building, or the programing that’s in place. Maybe the issue is that we have not come to the realization that everyone that comes looking to be apart of a Church community comes with a lot of stuff to unpack. A lot of the time that stuff is awkward, uncomfortable, and heavy. Some of them have never stayed put anywhere long enough to even begin unpacking half the stuff that they own. Are we creating an environment that shows them that it’s ok to unpack? Are we showing them that to be a true disciple of Christ means setting roots in a faith community and calling someplace home? Even if everything they own does not fit into our Church culture quite right?
Church Shoppers: Maybe the reason you can’t seem to “find a good fit” has nothing to do with the music, the preaching, the lack of activities etc. Maybe the real issue is you don’t want to go through the hard time-consuming work that is required of a disciple of Christ, unpacking the stuff you carry around with you, and letting other disciples help you figure out what to do with it. Maybe it’s time for a little less moving and a little more unpacking.