Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Shall we begin?
In a postmodern world that stands for nothing, but against everything else, I have found it necessary to pick my turf and fight over it. There is great tension in the Church today; however, I’m not especially enamored with dividing ground between those who have come before and those who will arrive later – I don’t really care about those divisions. I do care, however, about the 3.7million people in my city who do not attend church, and how they might connect meaningfully with Jesus Christ. Likewise, I don’t care about whether or not my ministry is postmodern, or whether I am selling out, or if I qualify more for the mega church or emerging church model discount at the local Christian bookstore. In fact, I am so sick of division I would like to propose a change in our math.
Instead of looking at a big, whole, Church and dividing it, I would like to look at tiny pieces of church and try and find ways to fit them together. These “fragments” are not complete, nor do I fully understand how they are supposed to work together. I just know they have proven very effective in my ten years of collegiate ministry and that – somehow – there are more of them out there ready to be connected.
The fragments I'd like to discuss here are loosely divided into two categories: presentation and culture. Presentation covers everything that might be done in a worship service, public meeting, advertising, or event. Culture involves everything from weekly church activities, to online interaction, to any kind of atmosphere created before or after an event. Presentation is how we’re going to look; culture is how we’re going to manage our behavior. As such, these fragments overlap and undercut all of the time, but I have found it helpful to have some categories for my categories as I begin to think about helping them continue.