Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Messing with Models

From Todd Hunter: I should read this every morning.

An Allelon coaching appointment I had this morning drives me to try to say something I’ve alluded to before, but I’m sure I’ve every clearly articulated it in this space.

Merely messing with models of church is not going to get us where we want to go.

Without a serious intent (For instance, check out William Law: A Serious Call to Devout and Holy Life.) to pursue spiritual transformation, our self-centered characters will overwhelm any system of church AND keep us from submitting our personal, God-given kingdoms to the Kingdom of God. I am not saying this to bash the church. On the contrary, I am wondering if the church or “how one does church” really matters or is at all to blame—within reason, of course. And of course there are some better ways than others. We are all trying to find a better one.

But, the people I most admire and respect in life are not focused on “church” as a place, event or thing. They just quietly participate in non-descript churches and submit themselves to be used by God, to be ambassadors of his Kingdom in those communities of faith…as everywhere else in there their life: no dualisms. That attitude—whole life self-surrender—is rooted in a different kind of life: life from above, eternal life. It is what we must pursue for our selves and those we serve. It will make most models work.

But again this does not mean we abandon our pursuit of better models. It means that models are second; spiritual transformation is first, in community, for the sake of the world.

For Christlikeness—life in the Kingdom will overcome:

The works of the flesh: selfishness, etc.
Paranoid fear of others, especially “leaders”
The need to get your own way
Meanness and manipulation
Doing “whatever it takes” to feel safe and secure
The routine ignoring of the Spirit
The routine ignoring of the agenda of the Kingdom

Does this help, or do I just sound frustrated???

Your friend,


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