Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Church of the Pumping Heart

One of my huge problems with aspects (or representations) of missionalimage church is its denigration of the local church.   I have been in conversation with a church leader in recent days who continually calls the gathered church “a failed model.” 

When I responded that “it seems to have worked well for 2000 years, he rejected that notion. 

That conversation (several with the same individual actually) were on my mind when I read the following paragraphs by Phillip Fletcher:

A local church is to be the heart of the community in which it resides. The streets are the veins and arteries. We the believers are the blood that carries the oxygen of the Gospel.

Imagine believers simultaneously gathering to worship and send believers throughout their community. It would be a strange thing, a deadly thing to the body not to have a properly functioning heart.

I for one have not seen the church ever settle for “keeping the message within the four walls”.   The church has DONE that at times, but it has always been recognized by healthier members as abnormal and non-biblical.   On the other hand, a “sent” church that has no times of contracting into “body time” is not identifiable as the church. 

Maybe I am tilting at windmills (not improbable, given my history) and it is only a problem in my head.  But the quote, coming on the heels of several conversations with this para-church leader set me off a little. It’s a picture I like and one I will probably use again.


I don’t know anything about Phillip Fletcher, but you can read the entire article that the quote came from here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Truth Telling

So much of my work in coaching has strong parallels in located ministry.image

I was reading an Australian blog today about “Truth Telling” in coaching.  Now, (caveat) the writer does NOT come from a perspective of objective truth.  “What is my truth may not be yours,” she says.

But even in that context she makes an important point.  She (Bronwyn Bowery-Ireland) is quoting another author when she says:

He said that ‘In coaching telling the truth is used to build up the coachee not to pull them down.” This is a very important statement. When we outline the truth to our client and it pulls them down then we need to ask ourselves what is the motivation for telling this truth. Telling the truth to pull a person down implies that there is judgement in the truth telling, which is the point I raise above. Telling the truth is very much based on the perspective of the truth teller.

The same is true in ministry.  We in the church are to be about truth telling.  But what is out motivation? Is it to “put them in their place?”  Is it to “correct the error of their ways”?  Or is it (even when we are correcting) intended to build them up, not tear them down?

I will end this brief post with the same question that asks her coaching readers:  What role does truth telling play in your inter-personal ministry?

You can find the original coaching post here.

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