"why throw rocks in the general direction of some nebulous, evil machine. The rocks might hit people you love and who love you."
I wanted to respond to Barry's comments out here because I think its a really good critique. First off, let me own the stuff I need to. Barry, if you took any of the things I said as a statement towards you or your ministry then let me apologize because that is not who you are. I have nothing but respect for the blood, sweat and tears that you have poured into the Vineyard over the years. You, in your own right, have made many courageous and risky decisions in the name of mission and reaching people. I have watched you set aside your own preferences for the opportunity to be more missional towards people. I admire your compassion, creativity, work ethic and gift in teaching. I apologize if the things I said offended you, it was not my intent.
I agree with Barry as I go back and read my comments that i was painting with a broad brush and not being specific. i was trying to speak towards one situation but in reality it probably hit an old wound in me. At the age of 26, I found myself totally burned out, and chewed up in the seeker style of church growth. There are others like me, and there are others who are completely energized and motivated. The 'evil" is not model or strategy, its system. When a system takes the place of a living body of Christ, then many unhealthy things occur. This applies the same to house churching/simple church/missional communities. When we're more loyal to pushing "systems" over people, we probably cease acting as the Body. This is what I wanted to communicate. Its too easy to speak in black and white opinions in this blogworld. So thanks to Barry for reminding me that readers have faces.
So I want to re-state some fundamental values that I hold. 1) I am pro-Kingdom. (i.e. phil. 1) If Christ is preached then we are to rejoice. I am for anyone who is seeking to announce that the Kingdom has come and the key to experiencing it is through Jesus Christ. 2) I am for doers. I am not for complainers, whiners, deconstructionists or those who are happy seeing their angst as an end. If our discontent does not lead us to create, then I wonder if we're talking about the same God. God is the God of creation, he creates, its who he is. Yes, he tears down in the story of Scripture, but only to build up again. I am passionate about networking with doers who are daily taking the battle to the enemy. I don't ever want to be a stumbling block to those who are doers. 3) I love the Church. I love her. Sometimes too much. I am very passionate about her influence on earth. I have given up every area of my life to serve the Church. I love the Church above ground and I love the Church underground. I am driven by the dream of the Church as salt and light on every corner of this earth. When I critique the church, I do it like a football coach who so badly wants to see the team achieve its goal and is not afraid to "not be liked" for a while as long as the players know they are loved. Kingdom is the big idea. Becoming the people of God and announcing his Kingdom on earth is what we're about. We may prefer some strategies over others according to our values and giftings and as long as we are motivated through the One Spirit and not in systems of the flesh, we are in the same battle.
peace to you and your house tonight,