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Mar 21, 2007


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Without having read Stevens and just responding to what you've written...

I find myself nodding at several points. Wondererd about one choice re: the "dilemna between charisma and institutionalization." Am wondering if the second word is the best choice here? Seems that "institution" has become such a "loaded term" that it's going to derail the thought / tension you're making for some. Not sure what better term to use though: maybe "grounded" or "tradition" (Although that one in itself brings perhaps many unwanted affective meanings for some.)

Or do we need to use the same words while beging cognizant that we have some deconstruction of the meanings they have usually been attached to?

Seems to me we're talking about something new here (for many.) How can we avoid the "lapsing" into safer areas which some of our language will no doubt tempt many to do?


Michael W. Kruse

I hear your concern. I am thinking of instituion in terms of an ordered pattern of relating to one another. Anytime we get beyond a handful of people, or beyond family boundaries, we are compelled to come to agreement on how we will order our lives in a way to remain connected. Institution need not mean denomination in the traditional sense of the term but I do not believe that we can be the church without protocols for how to connect and interact. I am open to alternative descriptive language.


Good points you're making... Which leads me back to the drawing board. "New" language is going to have just as many problems as operationally defining more familiar terms in different ways.

I'm sure open to ideas.


Michael W. Kruse

I am struggling with language and metaphors as well. I think part of the challenge is to not define a uniform model from the top and impose that outward. Instead, we equip and empower for mission in many contexts letting structure emerge from those contexts. The levels above the local community would serve as nodes linking the many contexts together and helping them cross-pollinate, as it were.

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