In the past 2 weeks, I’ve described Savior’s leadership capital and resilience. This week, I want to suggest that Savior has a particular gift and call to “save the saved”— to make church and Christianity possible and desirable again for people who in some way are finding them hard. Why do I say this?
First, I’ve had conversations with a number of people at Savior who are in “the borderlands of faith.” Their childhood faith no longer works for them, and they are at Savior in part because it feels like a safe place where they can decide what, if anything, they will carry from that childhood faith into the rest of their adult lives.
More broadly, the “evangelical church culture” (ECC) is struggling. Younger leaders had already rejected the megachurch model and the political stances of that culture, before the recent #churchtoo scandals put a big period on the end of that sentence. Here in Wheaton, I keep running into people who have tasted but not been satisfied by ECC, and they are looking for (pick one) transcendence, humility, honesty, less busyness, fewer requests for money, and a place that is not anti-science, not unjust in its practices toward women, engaged with the poor, etc.
We are not perfect. This is not to pat ourselves on the back. “Saving the saved” is an unusual charism and not what every church can or should be doing. So today’s Word from Fr. Kevin is simply my saying, “I notice this. I intuit it. And I celebrate that Savior is a place of safety, refuge, and welcome for people who, I hope, will find their way home to Jesus and walk with him for the rest of their lives."