Tag Archives: bicycle

Losing Your Church’s Training Wheels

Tuesday Re-mix:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Hebrews 5:11-14

training wheelsIt is kind of a big moment in a child’s life, going from three (or four) wheels to just two…going from the tricycle (or bicycle with training wheels) to a bicycle.  “Look Dad, I’m a big girl now!”  It is a big deal because it is a big adjustment.  It is not just about balance.  It is about forward motion.  It is an entirely different mindset.

After all, that is the biggest difference between a bike with training wheels and one without…you can sit on a bike with training wheels and not move at all.  You can just sit there and be pretty and comfortable and cool, never moving forward, never taking a risk, never changing a thing.  But as soon as those training wheels come off, that option (sitting still) is off the table.  You see, with the growth from child into maturity, there comes a requirement of constant forward progress, continuous pressing ahead without long stops, without sitting still and being comfortable, and without growing content where you are.

It really is a very different way of being, a totally different philosophy.  It is a new mindset, a new frame of reference.  Constant forward movement means leaning against the very human tendency …

Forward Progress Toward Unity

Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.

cyclingThere was a season in my life when I did quite a bit of cycling.  Triathlons, actually, were a bit of a hobby for me, so spending countless hours each week on a bike, riding through the country side was just a part of the lifestyle.  I was pretty bad, by the way.  I’m certain I never even finished a triathlon in the faster half of the field.  So, it was no big surprise the afternoon I was out on a long ride and pulled into a rest area only to get my feet stuck in the pedal clips as I pulled to a stop, causing me to basically roll over in the parking lot in front of a large crowd of people.  It was a humiliating experience.  It seems that bicycles were not designed to stand up straight unless they are actually moving forward.

I have always held that church unity is a function of Spiritual formation in the lives of individuals.  That makes it much more a journey than a destination.  And preserving the unity of the Spirit is work…lots of work.  On  one of my trips to South Africa, this point got driven home for me.  There, I encountered a church who seemed to understand intuitively the amount of work involved in genuine Spiritual formation.  Rather than my having to encourage them to  continue learning about unity despite having just completed a 6-hour conference on the topic, they came to me during breaks and after the sessions telling me all the ways they were considering to further develop these ideas about preserving the unity in the church.  They realized (perhaps more so than any church I have been …