A cartoon about Jesus getting a present made the Facebook rounds in December. Here it is.
The “out of the box” cliché is so, well, cliché! The “out of the box” cliché is such a self-righteous platitude at this point. It was a catchy thing to say, to roll our eyes when said as people who wanted the church to come into the 20th century (yes 20th – that’s how old this cliché is). It is now hackneyed and downright irritating. Let me tell you why.
Most people who use this annoying old saw haven’t taken the time to learn what is INSIDE the box in the first place. I myself have been guilty of wanting to “think outside the box” without having the grace and decency to understand what is in it to begin with.
Investigating what gifts are already within our reach is too often put down as a boring task. It requires time and patience. It’s much more fun to chase after the latest and greatest fads. I’ve been around long enough to see some of them come around two and three times, just packaged differently – in a box! Some of them are fads Regions in our denomination continue to spend money on: repackaged fads for “growing the church”.
The cliché “outside the box” also denigrates the true revolutionary nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t think outside any box; he turned the world upside down. Business models and psychological models do not build the body of Christ; making disciples of Christ builds the body of Christ.
Inside the proverbial box are the gifts of Table, scripture, community, ministry and more. The box is enormous; it’s infinite and it’s about time we starting investigating what is already ours to share with the world.