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Oct 12, 2005


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Dave Moody

Tremendous insights and thinking. Form follows function, and we seem to make a habit of mistaking means for ends. Thank you for your posts.

So- how do officers grind up those sacred cows- and live to tell about? There seems to a vast amount of energy expended in congregations maintaining the status quo... it seems that transformation from a christendom paradigm to an apostolic/biblical/missional paradigm isn't a matter of incremental additions, but of- literally- a shift. Its a transformation in how we frame reality. Do you let those who've not yet shifted, - especially when it comes to outmoded forms/building that keep the frame on the past, the way things were done when the church was the chaplain to the culture- and saw itself as such.

What are the ways we break from the past, without killing ourselves in the process? The we being specific congregations...

Michael Kruse

Thanks Dave and sorry for my slow response. I just discovered I had overlooked this one.

First of all. I don't fix problems. I just name 'em. **grin**

Seriously, I think we need to talk the difference between strategy and tactics. There a ton of books out there about how to be various types of churches but few tell of how we get from one place to the other. In demography there is the Push-Pull Theory of migration. Some combination of two things has to happen for someone to move from place A to place B. Either A has to become so unattractive relative to B, that people are “pushed” to move on, or B has to become so appealing relative to A that people are “pulled” toward B. Very rarely does a population pick up and move together from one place to another. If you think of “places” as “visions of the church” I think the same applies.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” I think one of the primary tasks of a pastor is to keep casting the vision and creating a yearning for the sea. Next, I think transformation comes by the leader pouring themselves into just a few individuals who already show some of that yearning for the sea. As these folks mature in their understanding they need to be equipped to inspire others to yearn for the sea.

Most people do not connect with ideas. They need examples. As people begin to “see” a core group of folks living in community as they yearn for the sea, they will be drawn in. However, some are never going to go with you. A point will likely come when the wave of new disciples begins to overwhelm the old order and those committed to it will resist, and sometimes in very ugly ways. I do not think congregational transformation ever occurs without a measure of this happening.

As leaders I think we have to decide if our allegiance is with a vision God has given us or our personal desire for no conflict. On the other side of the conflict comes the opportunity for empowered people to truly be the Kingdom of God. From what I have read and heard count on at least a ten year commitment before substantial lasting transformation takes place.

I don’t know what others think but that is my best non-pastor take I what I see. It appears to me to be a daunting task to anyone who is not utterly committed. Maybe there are others reading who have done this.

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