Sunday, May 17, 2009

The skeleton and the muscle

Len, on the Next Reformation site notes that Mike Breen essentially says we have two broad groups in the church, with two orientations.

* the traditional and pragmatic prefer the bounded set .. definition, boundaries, clear ways to identify who is in and who is out
* the “emergent” prefer the centered set.. direction, focus, purpose and an emphasis on process over location

Mike raises the body metaphor to compare these two groups and describe why they need each other. The pragmatic are like the skeleton, the emergent are like the muscle.

You can get a skeleton to stand up, but you can’t get it to move.
You can get muscle to move, but it wont’ stand up.

“We need to ask the Spirit of God to bring a great rattling so the bones will stand up, and then to breathe upon those bones so they will live so we will have a mighty army.”

Mike Breen is one of the founders of The Order of Mission - TOM - in Sheffield. To quote (at some length) from their website, this is what they're about:

TOM is a pioneering movement born out of a desire to fully give ourselves to making disciples of Jesus in this fast changing world. We stand in the tradition of the missionary communities of the past who lived as radical, pioneering pilgrims called to influence, serve and shape society and the church in their time: the Celtic monks and nuns who first re-evangelised these nations, the Methodists and the Salvation Army who called a people back to God in their days, the Protestant missionary societies who re-discovered global mission in the nineteenth century.

The Order of Mission is a dispersed community of pioneers, people called to lead and influence within whatever context and culture they live and work: cities and rural areas, developed and developing countries, business, education, arts, health and social care, public and private sector, family and church. We are a people who have committed ourselves to the vows of simplicity, purity and accountability. We take ‘Lifeshapes’ as our rule or pattern of life and seek to journey together, encouraging and challenging each other, as we follow God’s call on our lives.

Click on the link above to find out more about them.

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