Sunday, June 18, 2006

Brian McLaren: Emergent Reactions

I've added a new section to my blogroll: emerging chruch blogs. Also added the "friend of emergent" banner on the side column.

Here's a sample from one of the blogs, Brian McLaren. This is an excellent bit of wisdom in terms of avoiding extremes:
A lot of folks have gotten ground up or run over by churches or ministries that are run like well-oiled machines. They want something more organic, human, relational, and authentic. The problem is, some people may over-react against excessive or inhuman organization and leadership, and then find themselves suffering from the downsides of disorganization and leaderlessness. An above-the-line solution realizes that organization is not the enemy, nor is leadership the problem. It�s bad, unwise, inhuman, excessive, insufficient, unthinking, inflexible, overflexible, dominating, passive or otherwise ineffective organization and leadership that we need better alternatives to, and of course, finding those better alternatives isn't easy.

I guess my point is that we can react so strongly to inflexible and overt organizational structures that we become equally inflexible in an opposite form of covert or unrecognized organization (or disorganization). Top-down, dominant, non-listening, autocratic or unaccountable and unapproachable leadership has been a problem in many quarters in recent years, but being anti-leadership will create equal and opposite problems. Mechanistic organization (whether well-oiled or rusty) has been a real problem, but developing an allergy to needed structure will create new problems of its own.

There are a number of related issues in this regard. Some groups are dropping terms like pastor or senior pastor to help avoid a clergy-laity distinction. Some are avoiding any salaries and working with completely unremunerated teams of leaders. Many are choosing to meet in rented or multi-use facilities rather than single-use facilities. Again, all of these approaches can be celebrated, but none should be seen as being itself a final and trouble-free solution. Today’s solutions to yesterday’s problems often will cause tomorrow’s problems, which may then call for very different kinds of solutions from the solutions that are being celebrated today. We’ll be wise, over the long run, if we focus on what we’re for without painting ourselves in a corner regarding what we’re against – whether in terms of structures or leadership.
Read more at:Brian McLaren: Emergent Reactions, Spring 2006

<>< TM

No comments: