When it comes to the conversation of Adventism, the church and our struggle to fulfill the great commission one word comes up more than any other:
Yep, that's right. I said the "T" word. A word which, in some sectors of Christianity is almost a cuss-word. A word which invokes emotional responses that vary from warmth and appreciation to disgust and aversion. I have concluded that no conversation on mission can ever occur without a season of wrestling with the "T" word.
Now here's the thing I have learned. Tradition is not a bad thing. Everyone likes it. Traditions are nice. They help create artistic and meaningful expressions of faith that we can celebrate. The problem emerges when tradition morphs into commandment. When the church comes to the place that it is unwilling to change, adapt or evolve on a non-essential simply because we have "always done it this way". And the end result of this attitude is missional ineffectiveness.
The only solution is to replace tradition with the powerful, theologically intense foundation of creation. If we, as a church, model our ministry and culture after God's creative heart we will be constantly creating new traditions that are meaningful to emerging generations and cultures. Its not about doing away with tradition, its about subverting it to a theological commitment to creation.
In other words, don't be a traditional Adventist. Be a creational Adventist.
The best part is, there is already a huge movement of creational Adventists sweeping the church. This month, I interview a young, up-coming millennial pastor at Avondale university on his vision for the future of Adventist evangelism and how creativity can restore missional effectiveness to our church. Check it out below!
To check our Lachland Harders project on creativity, visit The Worship Collective.