Dan Herford

Receive, juggle, pass

Church Decision Making Blogalogue Update

Blogalogue

I mentioned here that I was participating with some other bloggers in a ‘blogalogue’ – a rolling conversation that is bouncing from blog to blog, and which invites inputs from other bloggers or readers.  We are in week three of the experiment!  Richard Jacobson led off with his video and blog post, Jon Zens followed with a blog post, and Keith Giles just posted his contribution the other day.  Well, one of his contributions.  He also put together a podcast last week in response to some conversation he had with John White on his blog.  In addition, Steve Simms linked to a couple of posts on his blog which were germane to the conversation.  I’m up next!

So, how is it going?

Well, there have been some great comments and discussion, but more comments would be good.    Or, questions that look to untangle things that aren’t clear.  Or, corrections.  The back-and-forth we’ve had so far has been interesting, and it’s this process of chipping away at ideas – looking for truth rather than looking to be right – that I am eager to see more of.

It will be interesting to see if we end up with any fresh or at least clarified understandings.  It will be interesting to see if any of the participants had any shift in their own thinking.

I am ruminating on where I want to take the conversation.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  One thing that I want to do is take a look at our terms.  We’ve started out with some assumptions about what a church looks like, and what a pastor is, and what kinds of decisions need to be made.  What do you think they mean?

I’m looking forward to the rest of this conversation, and hope we can share together in future ‘blogalogues’ – learning how to talk and listen, willing to learn, ready to offer our thoughts in humility.  I think the process will be at least as valuable as the conclusions.

Thoughts?

 

PS  My post is now up here, and Neil Cole’s is up here.  Check ’em out and participate!

2 Comments

  1. Dan,

    I just read through the comments on John White’s post. I enjoyed the dialog and especially the interpretations of the scriptures. What discourages me about this whole conversation though is how stressed everyone seems to be on the externals of church life (Who can speak authoritatvely in corporate meetings? What is the real biblical model? And when we do it the “right way” shouldn’t there be some sort of supernatural evidence?).

    In Galatians 5 & 6 Paul sums up his admonishment to those who keep returning to their religious roots, and leagalistic ways, and he exhorts them to rise above their superficiality and instead focus on the heart of the matter (which is bearing with one another in love), even dispite differences of practice. I know Jesus had some particular things in mind when He divided His attributes and powers amongst us, His diciples, and asked us to fulfill His ministry to the world, but are those things primarily organizational or even practical (like, how can we best meet the needs of a single parent in our community?). Or, are they more fundamental to what it means to be created in the image of Christ. (embodying His loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, and self-controled character)?

    Paul said, “that against such things there is no law”. Shouldn’t that mean that even when it comes to church structure and function, the model and method are secondary to the fruit? And if the fruit is there, what more is there to criticize?

    Now, of course, this begs the question, can every model of church out there bear spiritual fruit? Probably not. But, no doubt, there are fruitful individuals in nearly every “Chistain church” ! Which should bring us back to the reality that God will not be confined to any system, organization or structure, even an “organic” one. His church, or Kingdom, or family, or whatever you want to call His people, are far too diverse, and full of untapped potential to be confined to any one model of fellowship. Ultimately, I think the questions we should be asking about church are not what is the most biblical model and method, since we will only continue to see what we can from our own individual perspetives, but what is the ministry that God has placed in my unique heart, and who around me might I be able to co-labor in the effort to fulfill it? This is how I believe the Apostles operated; not trying to micro manage the people of God, but laying forth a general vision where each individual could realize his/her callings and part.

    Well, that’s all I am going to say for now. We shall have to plan a time when we can discuss specifics on all these things.

    Grace of our Lord be upon you as you share the part of Jesus that is unique to you, and of which the rest of us can be blessed!

    Ben

  2. Thanks so much, Dan, for including my post and linking it to the conversation!

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