Our “town,” Hume, has its maintenance shed between the hamlets (townlets) of Fillmore and Hume. Every morning when there’s new snow on the ground—which is often from November through March!—from the maintenance shed emerges this overgrown golf cart-snowplow (with a snowblower attachment). It makes its way around “town,” clearing the embarrassingly cracked, broken sidewalks nicely but leaving driveways more blocked than they had been. Taking our neighbor’s cue, we now call this thing, with its driver, “Cart-man.” Invariably, after one has cleared the snow from his driveway so he can leave for work, he goes back in to get his briefcase or lunch . . . that is the time that Cart-man cometh. (Insert Jaws music here.) The machine clears the sidewalks again, leaving ridges of driveway-blocking snow that must to be re-shoveled so you can get your car out.
I have long wondered who decided that Cart-man constitutes a bona fide service to our community. The way I have it figured, about 10% of our population actually walks the sidewalks on blustery, snowy days, whereas 80-90% of us drive cars and need our driveways. Cart-man is hindering life for more of us than he’s helping. Not to mention that in this part of the country, if you’re walking the sidewalks, you probably have boots, right? Walking on a snowy sidewalk isn’t all that problematic if you have boots.
I wish the “town” would cease & desist with Cart-man’s job (and maybe the Cart, too!). This manpower could be better put to use helping to plow or shovel old ladies’ driveways in the winter and actually fixing the sidewalks in the summer. Another broken system, I think.
Writing all of this gives me minimal catharsis. It’s written with entertainment in mind first, but then with a view toward asking, again, as I asked after discussing Chase’s broken system, what about the church?
What systems are broken in Christendom?
What are we doing in our church operations and processes that doesn’t make sense?
What legacy systems remain in place merely because no one has paused to reconsider for a decade, or a century?
I’ll put one legacy system forward: the second church assembly on Sundays. This practice has been a tradition in some denominations for years, but what sense does it make to ask everyone to come Sunday morning, then go home, then trek back again Sunday night? Why not just capitalize on the one assembly—whether morning or night, it matters not to me? Extend it, deepen it, broaden it . . . but don’t have two of the same thing on the same day, separated by six hours. That’s a broken system, people.
Lest anyone think I don’t care for church assemblies, think again. An important part of my Christian identity is wrapped up in Christian gatherings. I do want to make the ones we have count, and I’d rather see us have three or more such opportunities on different days throughout the week than to have two of them on the same day. But as with most systems, each specific context requires consideration and examination. What works in our neck of the woods may not be best in yours.
What church systems need fixing, in your estimation?