Our 2013 Bishop's Convocation concluded yesterday, and candidly, I've spent most of today lounging around the house, doing good 'man' things like laundry, dishes and high 5ing the dog over the Red Sox World Series win.
Our convocation speaker, Alan Roxburgh, challenged, pushed, offended, and acted as the disruptive agent we had hoped. Essentially, his message comes down to this: We are in a time of unraveling of the structures of the church that have been dominant for 500 years. This does not mean the gospel in unraveling, but it does mean that the way we have practiced christianity is coming undone, and we need to ask a new kind of question. The old questions centered around ways of preserving the insitutional forms of the church. The new questions focus on finding out where God is at work in our communities and joing God in that endeavor.
Since I believe Alan is on to something, yet I also know that we still have congregations and ministries, I followed up his talk with several suggestions. These are my thoughts on how to carry forward some of Alan's ideas:
1. We need a culture of failure in our congregations. (permission to not just try, but try something knowing that often in failure we discover something new)
2. Experiments or playfulness can be one approach to testing the waters on new endeavors.
3. Lurking in coffee shops might help us discover what God is up to in our neighborhoods.
4. Most congregations are focused on the On-Stage event, but real behavior change (discipleship making) happens in Off-Stage conversations.
I gonna write more about these areas, so check back here in a few days.