Taken from the defunct TV comedy-drama Sports Night (produced by Aaron Sorkin, of West Wing fame) this is part of the dialogue between a boss and an employee who is also a friend. This interchange occurs in the face of the impending downfall of the cable sports show they produce. Dana, the boss here, is beginning to consider looking for another job outside the network:
Natalie: “Well, you have to take me with you. . . . You’re taking me with you, Dana.”
Dana: “Of course.”
Natalie: “I mean, I don’t care if it’s a station in Altoona. You’re taking me with you.”
Dana, smiling: “I’m taking you with me. I’m taking you.”
Natalie: “Jeremy has to come, too.”
Natalie: “And you’re not going to be happy unless Casey’s there.”
Dana: “Casey can come.”
Natalie: “And Casey needs Dan.”
Dana (beginning to cry and realizing how this group of coworkers coheres, supports each other, and sticks together): “I know . . .”
Being composed of humans, church groups can often act childishly and unbecomingly. So can office associates and other groups. The Sports Night group seems different in a good way. Whenever I have opportunity to watch one of the episodes, I do. In nearly every one, I see something I wish churches and workplaces could emulate. In this post, I provided more kudos to Sports Night. You don’t have to be a fan of the series, or of sports, to get it.
Church splits and church closures are not necessarily the devil — theoretically, they can be positive developments — but they often betray a lack of loyalty to one another. If a church splits poorly, one is not likely to find within those people the drive to “stick together” through thick and thin, or loyalty to a shared sense of purpose.
Like the characters of Sports Night, people in church groups should exist in a safe sub-society. Not that they should stay separate from the rest of society, but when they are together as a group, the congregation should be a place where each one can be himself, use talents, mess up or excel, be angry or be affable, crack jokes, be off-target or well-focused, be annoying, apologize, do well, do not-so-well . . . in short, the church group should be a place where one is safe, no matter what.
The church congregation should be a place where each one is free.