Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Baptists and change- again!

Apologies for posting about Baptists and change again but once again the post below resonated with me
If you scroll down you will see John Dranes excellent comment too on  change Press Here

John Dranes comment is below

As a Scottish person, I've been observing this conversation from afar and resisting the temptation to comment, as I know I'm an outsider. But this post has really hit the nail on the head for me. I hear all the things being said about resisting change and so on, but the reality is that every church in the land is already changing - that's why this conversation started in the first place, because things have changed and continue to do so in a rapid and unpredictable way that doesn't necessarily emerge from anything we've seen before (discontinuous change, to use the jargon). In a world where nobody knows what's going to happen next week, let alone in 20 years time, planning for a long term future becomes meaningless. From what I can see, most church people already know that in their personal lives, and live accordingly - it's only when they're in church that they seem to want to keep things as they are. Doing nothing is not an option: if we do that, change will certainly happen but it will be random and quite probably destructive. The key question for us, then, is not to resist change but to acknowledge that it's happening anyway, and to face the challenge and opportunity of being the intentional agents of change, inspired by the values of the kingdom. That sort of change will be as revolutionary as Ivan suggests in his original post here, and will require a long hard look at the whole shape of what we now understand by church life - though even as I've written that, I'm wondering if 'church life' is even the right place to start. Should we instead be starting with a more basic question about discipleship (something like 'what does it mean to follow Jesus in this time and place?') and be prepared to just hang out and see what happens organically as like-minded people and groups network in the emerging culture? There are actually lots of signs of this already happening through things like Urban Expression, Fresh Expressions, mission shaped ministry, all of which have an ecumenical dimension. Is that also telling us something? That the networks that can engage with the future may be less narrowly denominational, while learning from all strands of church life?

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