Steve has provided one of the best tools for creating community and space for spirituality. There are pictures galore and all kinds of trendy graphics illustrating his ideas. I may need to stop writing this post to look at it again. . .
. . . ah, there. All better now.
I love the idea of a network coming together because of a common link or goal. This has happened among the non-profits in Manchester, VT and I have been right in the middle of it. I’m learning tons about loose-knit networks from our little non-profit experiment.
I think that loosely connected, but interdependent networks are the way forward for the church. Let’s can the consumer-oriented “feed me” time and try something a little more disorganized and free-wheeling. Planned chaos is better than sticking to the same old thing and waiting for unknown chaos to break out.
I love the idea of Christians assembling because they want to and because they want to participate as ministers themselves. Too often churches burn out because they are fueled by irrelevant traditions (i.e. we’ve always attended a service just like this at just this time on just this day and that settles it), guilt, and the shackles of a church “ministry” that smacks more of catering to other Christians than serving the rest of the world that needs what we have.
If there is life, true God-given life in a Christian gathering, then people will come. I’ve spent so much of my time pouring myself into endeavors that God wasn’t blessing and those in attendance figured it all out pretty quick.
When have I seen God break out? Though there have been exceptions, the presence of God is directly proportional to the amount of chaos built into a gathering. Does he have space to move people and to take it where he wants to go? Are people willing to drop their expectations? Then God will be there.
Though the gathering models proposed by Steve Collins will not guarantee the liberal dispensing of the Holy Spirit, they do create the space and the opportunity. What more can we do?