So, everything we’ve posted now brings us full circle to the definition of a bubble; it’s a self-reinforcing cycle of beliefs and practices.  In our bubble we’re comfortable, and feel safe, because we’re surrounded by people who are like us, who talk like us, and define reality like us.  Pentecostal people, using Pentecostal language, espousing a Pentecostal worldview; it’s a Pentecostal bubble.  It’s nice, to be sure.  But we’ll not fulfill our Commission from inside the bubble.

It’s hard for us.  We live in this tension between wanting to be utterly distinctive from the world, while still somehow reaching the world.  There’s always a struggle to strike the right balance between being utterly out of touch and incapable of communicating, or being utterly worldly.

An example of this would the conservative Mennonites on one extreme with the liberal evangelical congregations on the other.  The Mennonites are very distinctive in their appearance, putting us to shame by their “standards”.  They do their best to engage and participate in society as they can, yet seem to look odd, out of place, and awkward.  In spite of their sincerity and commitment, their movement is essentially unattractive…and is not growing.  On the other end of the spectrum are those evangelical mega-churches in which there is very little to distinguish them from “the world”, in appearance, practice, or philosophy.  Yet, their churches are full.  One extreme is utterly unattractive and cannot grow, while the other is utterly worldly and bulges at the seams.

We find ourselves in a dynamic that tries to operate between these two extremes.  We want to be distinctive to a degree, and at the same time adopt the methodologies that evangelicals use to great success.  We want to be distinctive and attractive, insular yet welcoming, different…yet charmingly so.  Only time will tell if we’ll be successful, because it’s incredibly difficult to be both in the bubble and out of the bubble at the same time.

Thanks for reading!

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