by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 7/17/14

Cliches, why do we use them? They save time, I guess. They capture common wisdom in a catchy way. They name something that is generally true or perhaps they are a simply a stock response…a knee-jerk reaction, of sorts. Consider a few of well worn cliched responses to change.

Things just aren’t the way they used to be. No, things aren’t the way they used to be. Things are the way they are, now. Usually this is offered as a lament for the good old days. The open secret is this: when things were the way they used to be, someone was then saying things aren’t the way they use to be.
We have never done it that way before. This stock response comes up during times of change. I think more than anything it names our preference for the familiar, the known. But what happens during times of real social and cultural change, when these responses just don’t cut it anymore? What does it mean for the larger church to adapt to social and cultural changes? Our July book study examines the ways that the larger church has adapted and remained faithful over two-thousand years.
Our book, The Great Emergence, by Phyllis Tickle explores church history and reflects on our present cultural landscape. You are right. Things aren’t the way they used to be. Some things that used to work in the Church don’t work anymore. People are different. Even the church has to recognize life amidst social and cultural change.
Join us on Monday at 10am in the Great Room or 7pm at home of Jimmy and Tina Wootan to discuss this work.
See you there.  I will bring all my cliches, euphemisms, and well worn figures of speech.