Couch Grass, Seeding, and a Hard Week

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?
Yes.
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.
couch
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!

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

10 Comments

  • first i almost wanted to critique you about how you said you don’t edit your posts too much, yet the editions show up in the rss feed, but then i realized you were adding some stuff (like the comment about the wifi where you ate with the radio crew). so, no criticism there :-).
    on the positive side (keeping your style), i found the analogy of church and the couch grass very helpful. funny, i looked up the term in a dictionary hoping there would be something different than the couches you sit on or i would have questioned the hygene of your home and furniture :-).

  • Oh my – I think I need to get me some Couch Grass. I’m lovin’ that. That, connected with your buddy Doug’s “Organic Gardening” and I’m all set. Looks like God has already “seeded” the world with the wisdom and knowledge needed to understand all this – we just have to pay attention. Peace to you!

  • Did Doug teach that in Nashville? He and i taught it together back in 1999. cool
    and simonas – thanks for not chastising me. I dont know if i could survive a Lithuanian blog lashing right before the beginning of a new week.
    The original blog was done in a few seconds in a coffee shop right before my battery went out. some of the people there had never seen a blog and they thought it was interesting that i could just whip out my notebook, get a signal, type in a few words adn then read them on the internet. When i got home, i added the extra, and a few capitals.
    When are you going to start blogging?

  • great stuff; I too dig the connection with past teaching on Organic Gardening. Get depressed more often Andrew–and just start spewing it :-). (not to discount all the stuff we learn from you during the happy times). Now I don’t have to go back to school to get my ecclesiology figured out…unless you start teaching this at Fuller.

  • andrew wrote:
    When are you going to start blogging?
    what do you mean? i blog, i just blog in lithuanian :-). i have an english blog, but somehow the motivation to blog there is just not there… i had blogs before, but did not keep up with them. at that time, e-mail forums were very much in my head and i was active there. so, i’ll keep it to lithuanian blogging for now. i think it is important for me that my lithuanian friends hear about the emerging tendencies before i emerge in english discussions. and andrew, you are very much a part of my food for brain and heart (not to mix with hanibalistic ideas) :-).
    [andrew] hey – i went and looked at your blog http://kielas.lkb.lt/ excellent! great use of the new blogger template. i am glad you are blogging in your language.
    blog on!

  • btw: what’s up with SLOT in poland? is it still happening? what would one expect there? how much will it cost? hearing that you are planning to be there, i am planning to gather a group from our churches to come out there. sorry for these questions, but the long promissed english side of the http://www.slot.org.pl/ just isn’t happening.
    [andrew] – the info should appear on their web site – i have had this one on my schedule but may have to cancel. but i have heard it is an excellent festival.

  • well i reckon the existence of couch grass alone is a good enough reason to think God made church to look and work like it does (interconnected unity). not to say the church cant also work by multiplication/ reproduction as every living organism does this too (bacteria being a good example).
    but its obviously in Gods nature to do it like couch grass or He could never have made couch grass in the first place.

  • Andrew – on the Doug teaching Organic Gargening in Nashville – no, not that I know of – I wasn’t there. He did get into it in a session I was in at Search Party in St. Louis a couple or three years ago. It has stuck with me ever since.

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