Brits are fairly infamous for being happy not changing something so long as we get to complain about it. I wonder if part of the reason is that complaining is much easier. It doesn’t really require much effort. Sure it takes a bit of practice to master the art of raising your eyebrows whilst rolling your eyes. And the perfect ‘tsk’ takes a bit of work. But once you’ve got those basics down, you’re pretty much set for life.
Change, on the other hand, is costly. It takes time, effort, energy and sometimes it causes us to get hurt.
The problem is though, that often not changing causes people to get hurt. The responses I got to my last few posts made that clear to me. Ignorance is most definitely not bliss. Rather, bliss is ignorance.
Therefore we have a responsibility. If we spot an area where we could serve people better, then we should act. This isn’t about change for the sake of change. It’s change for the sake of people.
Now I know I still haven’t explained the whole babysitter rant yet. I’m getting to that, right now in fact. First, let me briefly recap how we got here (cue “previously on Levi’s blog” music).
- First I shared my experiences in Japan and the lesson I learnt about church being family.
- Then I tried to make that concrete, by sharing my experiences in the UK of sometimes feeling like a babysitter, rather than a brother.
- Then Ash kindly wrote a response, giving his perspective as married guy with kids.
So here’s why I think each of those 3 posts was worth writing:
Outside perspectives help us see where to change
Often we only see the weaknesses of our own culture from the vantage point of a different culture. This helps us to see the areas where we need to change.
Concrete examples help us see how to change
Without concrete examples of how we could change, we can end up back at old fashioned British complaining. Examples help us to go from, “we should be better” to “here’s how we can be better.”
Constructive debates help us see who to change
Namely, ourselves. Without encouraging debate we run the risk of hypocrisy: me telling you how you should change. It’s vital that I allow others to point out how I need to change (which brings us neatly back to the need for outside perspective).
I’ll expand on each of these points in my next few posts. And I’ll also try to show how the life and teaching of Jesus Christ fits into this change I’ve been chatting about.
As ever there are many other things that could be said here. I’ll probably say some of over the next couple of weeks. But even better, you could say some of them in the comments section. Go on, if you’re worried about legal repercussions then use a pseudonym (or, you know, just don’t write anything incriminating). Share your thoughts, even if you disagree!
What else do you think we need in order to bring about change?
If you’ve been to another culture, have you got any insights for the UK church (or maybe just the UK in general)?
What would be good “previously on…” music for this blog? If your life was made into a TV drama, what background music would you want for the weekly recap?
Or, ask you own question!