Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Church Re-Imagined": Re-Thinked

Doug Pagitt writes about "the spiritual formation of people in communities of faith" in the book, "Church Re-Imagined." A statement about the vision of the Solomon's Porch, an emergent faith community begins, "We Dream of a Church Where..." 23 items are listed in this "dream." If I could restate these visions with what I believe to be a more correct terminology that defines the Church as a community of believers rather than eluding to a "place WHERE," it would go something like this:
We Are the Church: A people WHO...
1. Listen to and are obedient to God.
2. Follow the way of Jesus Christ.
3. Value, use, and understand beauty, art, and creativity as coming from the Creator, God.
4. Connect with God in heart, soul, mind, and strength, not separating any part of life from that which is spiritual.
5. Love the LORD God with heart, soul, mind, and strength.
6. Illuminate the presence of the kingdom of God on this earth.
7. Share the biblical story of God and his people, journeying together as a part of that story.
8. Promote justice.
9. Suffer with and share life and love with the orphan, fatherless, widow, marginalized, and oppressed.
10. Worship every moment of every day.
11. Use the gifts granted by God.
12. Live by the guidance and direction of the indwelling Spirit of God which precedes reason, structures, and systems.
13. Serve one another in humility without self-gain and with self-cost.
14. Learn, study, and teach the Word of God creatively.
15. Depend on one another.


John said...

Go and practice this in community. The problem TK seems to be the transition between believing something to be true and then living it out. At first, when we begin to live this out it seems so "unspiritual" (for lack of a better term).

What I mean by that is that it is all well and good to say "Love God with everything that you are and your neighbor as yourself", but when you get around to practicing that it seems so ordinary that you wonder if it can possibly be right. Sitting in silence in God's presence or helping your neighbor build an extension on his house seem much too plain to be "spiritual" for those of us who have only thought about these things and never practiced them.

I guess my point is that we talk, and study, and preach, and teach but seldom do we live these things out in any kind of practical way. The older generations seem to think that the preaching, teaching, etc. ARE the point. Meanwhile the younger generations tend to say all the right things but abhor organization so much that they are equally ineffective in actually touching people apart from their already like-minded friends. Well, that's enough from me. Later...

Ryan Schmitz said...


Here is that site I quickly mentioned today: http://www.drurywriting.com/keith investigate if you get a chance and let me know what you think.


Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."