Sunday, April 30, 2006

What Makes the Fries Taste So Good

I was chopping crabgrass out of the front lawn at 0 dark thirty this morning, thinking on things. Like that Jonathan and Beth's high school, TAG, is this week being rated by Newsweek the number one public high school in the country. That was presumably just about as true several weeks ago when financial aid decisions were being made and Jonathan didn't get much (--I mean on merit: we are at a favored spot in our life, and didn't expect a lot of need-based). But still: Beth's immediate response was I'm putting this on my college applications (20 + months from now!), which is encouraging...and sad, that kids have to think that resume-padding way.

Also was thinking about multiplication, and how in LGBC's case, praise God alone, it has not come about through division, as much church multiplication does. So the Rudds did their Lowest Exposition Greenville Park thing, and now are in San Francisco, connected to the Scandrettes and looking around for what is there and what is next. And so Vince and the Fabs are in Denton, where...something...will happen, in the right time and way for there and them. And so Heather and Scotty find their footing and find their calling more or less simultaneously, which is no bad thing. And so of course none of it looks just like church multiplication is supposed to look--but what would I expect? None of what we have done has looked very much like anything anyone expected, even though it was all about fidelity to the tradition in the context of relevancy to the culture (or was it vice-versa on that?). And so---and so that's all right, that's what it is.

And was thinking about how in an incarnational life it is not about balancing family life and ministry--do this for a while, and then do that; X amount of ministry and then you need to take a break for family time. That happens, at a crude level, of course. But it is much more about conducting family life as ministry and living ministry as family life. Not in the creepy no-boundaries-on-intimacy sort of way--that's a counterfeit of the real thing. But in a way in which you demodernize ministry enough to where it isn't primarily an activity or a job, but one of several ways interested outsiders might describe your life, analyze what you are doing. But you are just doing what you're doing: being yourselves in full view of others.

In that sense, ministry identity is under the same rubric as ministry methods are. In the latter case, a marketing expert can always come in and analyze from a marketing point of view whatever it is that an individual, group, or organization does, regardless of how they do it. So we were very intentional about avoiding marketing entirely in developing LGBC. Yet of course a marketing guy would come in and say, well look, in this population, which is overtly anti-marketing, you'd have to market by word of mouth and by noncorporate, cooperative, community-based methods (like the message boards Whole Foods used to have), and position yourself as anti-marketing. And Mr. Marketing Expert wouldn't be wrong in his analysis, even though that does not mean that "really" all along we were hypocrites who "really" were doing marketing. We weren't...doing marketing, and vis-a-vis that, weren't hypocrites. But insofar as marketing is a way of looking at the world, an analyst can think that way even if those he is analyzing really didn't.

Just so, a human resources type can come in and say, how do you guys do it? how do you do this and maintain your (relative) sanity and your marriage and so on? And they would partly say, I'm sure, wow, look how much effort Dawn puts in to keeping a balance in what's going on, what's getting attention, etc. And yet we rarely think of it that way: we just do what we think needs doing.

George Hunter said in Celtic Way of Evangelism that he feared that the emerging church (not yet the term used, and so not in his book, though that was what he meant) would have a lot of irreproducible charismatic leaders, and a lot of nonreproducing intuitives. I don't want to be the latter, and am not, by the grace of God, the former. All the more impetus to put this stuff which we largely did, in fact, intuit, into accessible form. Which brings up, and, in particular, the vexed question of why I can't have


Blogger iMonk said...

Man, why do you get all the cool thoughts? When I'm working in the crabgrass, I'm usually thinking something like, "Mmmm, beer."

BTW, the new site is good stuff and, in my opinion, they should have given you the .gov address. They know you deserve it, they're just jealous.


11:31 AM  

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