Okay, well maybe only really fun for nerdy pastor/theologian types, but maybe really important too: Have you “exegeted” your church? “Hunh? Don’t we exegete the Bible?!” you may say.
Normally, yes, that’s what we do; we exegete the Bible. But I’ve learned over my lifetime (and you probably already know it too, deep-down), that we all have our own theologies on several levels. We say we “believe” certain things--that’s one level of theology. We live out certain beliefs--that’s another level of theology. And we are surrounded and impacted by other beliefs--still another level of theology.
Quite often these three levels of theology don’t really match up that well. We may try to “walk the talk”, but quite often we fail. Even Paul laments about this, saying “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom. 7:15). Not only that, but we are constantly bombarded by the “theologies” of those around us: friends, neighbours, the media, the culture, etc.
This is also true for our churches; there are three levels of “theology” that we hold as a church:
- Professed (what we “say” we believe),
- Practiced (what we do), and
- Environmental (the theological surroundings we are in).
So, here are some questions for you:
- What do you think your church really believes, when you look at your “practices,” your “professions,” and environment?
- How do you think we could work to make our practices’, professions’ and environment’s theology line up better?