I was working on homework for an online course this week when I was asked to respond to this question: "what are you excited for about the future of the Church of the Nazarene? What are your fears?" And we had 500 words to respond.
The easy answer is that I'm excited for the Church to continue to grow in Christ-like ways. I think on a practical level that means the Church continues to grow in acceptance and love for people. My hope is that the Church is opened to the idea of the young learning from the old and the old learning from the young. That "who we are," the DNA of a church, could be built in a way that all generations worship together and learn from one another. My prayer is that someone gay, straight, white, black, transgender, bisexual, old, young, male, female could walk into the Church and be confronted by Christ's love that washes feet first, not casts stones. My heart for the Church is that we will serve, we will wash feet, and we will love as Christ loved. Accountability and admonishment have their place, but they cannot be uninvited and they cannot be the leading step. That is the future for the Church I am excited for.
My fear is that we won't get there. My fear is that we will be too encumbered by fleshly desires of pride, selfishness, guilt, and greed and that we will see others how we want to see them - not as Christ sees them. The same Jesus that died for me died for everyone else.
What would our communities and churches look like if we led with a posture that washes feet first?