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The Silent Revolution – Stacey Wilson

August 11, 2015

When the children were pushed out of church

Their teachers went with them.

Now that they no longer interrupted us

In our very important

Our very grown up

Extremely mature worship

They slipped our minds

And so did their teachers

 

So out they went

Sunday by Sunday

Walking together into a new mysterious form of church

A church where leaders were all learning

Where impossible questions were asked

Where scripture was explored, examined and shared

Through experimentation, play and creativity

A new side of God became visible

A glimpse caught

In the corner of their eye

 

The words of the youngest could be heard

And they were profound

Teachers sitting beside children

Saw the Spirit at work

And were humbled and amazed

Excitedly they tried to share this with others

But such things are beyond words

They must be lived

 

The polite smiles

The false praise

The lack of interest

Took its toll

And they became silent

So nobody noticed them quietly changing a generation

 

As they grew up

These children remembered

What it was like to be allowed to ask questions

They remembered

What it was like when people remembered your name

Celebrated your hopes

Loved your ideas

Sat with you when you were sad

They thought this was church

This is where they had found God

 

Now that they were allowed back in

They struggled to find room

In this quiet, passive place

They tried speaking up

They wanted to experiment

They assumed people would care

But it was different here

There were new rules to learn

 

It was best

If you had questions

To keep them to yourself

If you weren’t sure

Don’t let anyone know

If you were excited

Tone down

If you were hurt

Man up

 

The building pressure to be more than

They could be

Hiding their uncertainties

Laying unstable foundations

Living breathing scripture became

Transformed into words of condemnation

On flimsy pages

 

The truth could not set them free

So they did it themselves

 

But some

Daring to believe that church could be

Bigger by being smaller

Grown in relationships

Wherever they were found

Where authentic, mutual discipleship

Could take place

When the strong are willing to learn

From the weak

Created amazing, empowering expressions of faith and community

That have changed the face of

Church

(by my colleague Stacey Wilson – She makes plain the story of so many children who grew up in the church of the past few decades. Many of us left, some of us are still here…)

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