Its been a hard one this week – and it has left me a little depressed.
– i was one handed with my injury
– i missed the nashville event
– i didn’t really do the reading i was hoping to do (curse that workaholism!)
– my external hard drive is not talking to me
– my computers are not talking to each other
– the cut on my hand has not yet sealed. It awaits a ventriloquist to bring it to life.
– my bank decided to play hard to get and we waited over 3 weeks to get my support deposited. Its in now, but waiting to pay the rent has worn me out.
– i feel down and out of season.
– i want to do something physical but my hand wont let me
– did i tell you all my friends were in ‘Nashvegas’ (Lemenspeak) eating BBQ?
– without me
Now i have to run off to a radio station for an interview.
Will i be honest?
Welcome Andrew, tell our listeners how you feel this morning?
Awful. Life sucks . . . and then you die!
Well, maybe not that honest. But i certainly don’t feel the need to put on a happy church face. Call that post-charasmatic, if you like. [Can people who never were fully charasmatic, still experience post-charasmatic symptoms?] The English call it “post-Kendrick”
On the positive side, I have been having some good thoughts this week:
1. Couch Grass.
Its a rhizome structure, like potatoes. People liken the web-like interconnected structure of the internet to Rhizomes. The thing about rhizomes is that they do not multiply- they are a single multiplicity that extend themselves outward into new territory, yet maintain their oneness. If we are to adopt a similar view of church, then Couch Grass is either:
a) a pest that could wipe away 30 years of Church reproduction/multiplication theory, or
b) a framework for understanding the invisible unity of the church while maintaining a missional strategy.
Maybe i wont tell anyone about Couch Grass. Or Rhizomes. Too controversial. I studied at Fuller School of World Mission, under Peter Wagner, where i learned much about church growth and church planting. i would hate for something as simple as the existence of Couch Grass to undermine the idea that churches must multiply or reproduce as seperate entites, rather than maintain their unity as a single organism. Maybe i will just keep it to myself, and this little online journal of mine, that my dad reads once a week, and a few people here and there that stop by.
2. Seeding the Gospel
When I download a Div-x movie file using BitTorrent, i can do so only if someone has “seeded” that movie first. There is no central server. I take it from one of the seeded sites. As i am downloading the file, i am also uploading it at the same time to many others. If i get greedy and limit my upload, then my download is also limited. There more i give, the more i can take. (To the one who has much, much more will be given.) There is an interesting download/upload relationship that reminds me of the teaching/discovering of pilgrimage, and the receiving/passing on of discipleship. We don’t wait until we get the whole file before we pass it on – in fact, with BitPass, the only time you are allowing others to download from you, is when you are downloading it yourself.
I like the word “seed”, as a VERB.
Seeding the story of God.
Seeding communities of God.
Seeding is a better word than “planting”, as in “church planting”. Planting suggests something seperate and removed – a very modern and individualist way of seeing church – [my church, your church, my empire, your little “pot plant” experiment].
Seeding in the geeky sense of the word, and combined with a Couch Grass Ecclesiology, is a way of seeing it as an extension of the same thing.
That fits with my understanding of the One Church that i belong to. It also fits with my preference for underground, discreet methodology.
Or, as Roland once said.
“I do not trust spectacular things. Give me the seed growing secretly everytime”
[Roland Allen, responding to request for spectacular stories, in a missionary report, 1933.] See, even Roland like the word “seed”. But he was re:mixing Jesus who said it first.
Right, off to the radio station. To be myself. My depressed self. My self that is down and kicked about but is enjoying a flickering, smouldering hot burning lantern inside, something the Bible and my church friends would call JOY.
At least i don’t have to shave!