Steve Kilbey, the frontman of my favourite band of all time, The Church, announced that their new album (their 24th studio album!) will not feature long standing guitarist Marty Willson-Piper. Now that may not mean much to you all, but to a fan that has been following them since 1987, it's a big deal. Marty was an integral part of what made The Church. But... Steve, in addressing the issue, made this comment:
"I am sitting here right now with 16 new incredible songs that we just wrote. It's frustrating that it will be a while till you hear it. But The Church will ride on. And I hope that when I fall off my perch that someone else jumps in and keeps it going. This is what I was writing about the other day. The Church is an ideal that produces a certain type of music. regardless of individuals."
It got me thinking (of course, from a theological perspective). How well do we both prepare and address change in our churches? Steve made a very powerful comment. He didn't address the loss of a core musician, but he addressed the core of why we all like The Church. It's the sound, and it really doesn't matter who's playing it.
As a church, our core is our mission. It's not about who's preaching, or what building we meet in. It certainly isn't about the clothes we wear or the car we drive. Paraphrasing Steve Kilbey's words, The Church is an ideal that produces a spiritual outcome, regardless of... (You fill in the blank!).