November 4th, 2006

Light

Size and structure

Enjoyed last night's New Horizons Dessert Extravaganza with barlow_girl, shemaiah & JG, and a couple of their friends. I'm so glad our church supports the beautiful work they do in relationship with homeless youth; it's something I'd love to become more involved with if I had the bandwidth. Yet another case of running into limits—by choosing to do some things, I choose not to do others. I wish I could more readily accept that reality instead of feeling twinges of guilt and regret over all I'm not doing and being.

That's just one factor that has me thinking about the church and how our cultures and structures support or detract from our mission. Another stimulus was this great piece from prester_scott discussing, among other things, what hypocrisy in the church is and isn't. I'm sure the current Ted Haggard evangelical scandal (just in time for elections—how handy!) will open the church to yet another dose of armchair quarterbacking; regrettably, much of this will come from places of contempt or schadenfreude than from one rooted in Christ's love for her. That said, it's very good to have how we're living out the church's mission be an open question. We know from Scripture that Jesus has prayed for the unity in love of all believers, that God has established structures for authority and service within the church, and that we are commanded to love one another and serve the world. Beyond that, with the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit, we're figuring it out as we go.

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Whew. That was a lot more than I thought I was going to write—developing a personal philosophy of ministry takes a great deal of mental mapping and connecting of many, many dots. But it matters. It's worth doing.