Thursday, April 27

Doubt and Leadership

"Leaders shouldn't do their theology in public."
A friend of mine was preparing to lead a 'new Christian' small group discussion recently, and this issue came up. When faced with their theological or textual questions, should leaders make public their doubts, questions, 'explorations' and uncertainties? Or should they keep those issues to themselves and present a 'front' of doctrinal confidence? Maybe such confidence is a necessary qualification for leadership... or maybe it's dishonest.
What makes for better evangelism/discipleship? Doctrinal clarity and certainty? Or honest (public) doubting? What are the implications for things like our coffee shop theology?

Friday, April 14

Ecclesiological Dreamin'

Anyone who knows me will know that I'm a bit of a dreamer. I make no apology for this, but sometimes dreaming/envisioning can be an all-too individual affair. The dreamer is a maverick, running wildly ahead, and usually ends up frustrated, burnt-out and leaving the rest of his community in his/her wake. There's only so far this will take us.

Brian McLaren, in chapter 21 of his book The Last Word and The Word After That tells the story of Neil and the group of Christians who he "knows with". The idea is that "learning and knowing are ultimately communal experiences, social experiences". So I thought I'd open the floor for other dreams/visions, and see if we can "dream with" each other.

In that light, I'd love to hear your (short-ish) answers to this "what if...?" question:

If you could start from the ground up, what would church look like?

I'm not just thinking of theological reflection (although that's good too), but any kind of response to the question of how we "do" church: format, theology, practises, setting, size... you name it. Why not get your friends/spouses to comment, particularly people who are finding that 'traditional' forms of church are losing (or have never been in) touch with them.

Dreaming dreams...