Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Four posts

I mentioned Westwinds Church a few posts back, and since then have been keeping an eye on their (five) blogs. A couple of these are okay, but more the personal kind of blog than something that I'm looking to for mission inspiration. But one of the blogs, Vertizontal, has some strong writing on it, and is worth reading.

Most recently - over the last few days, by the looks of it - it's been discussing The Target (the Cue Philosophy). Okay, I have no more idea what that means that you do, but the actual posts are well worth reading. They're about how Westwinds does church, who it does church for, and why. The fourth post has concerns about the business model (the 'target audience') that is often used in churches. (Our own church went through this kind of thing a few years back, and it wasn't particularly healthy, long-term. Fortunately, the core congregation stuck through it, and came out the other side.)

The third post talks about the difficulty Westwings has in defining a 'mission statement' - in fact, whether they should define one at all. You'll note from this post that Westwinds is a fairly arty, technology-focused church. The second post concerns itself with seeker-services, and their value - or lack of it, and in this post is the following quote:

Westwinds’ methodology is not an attempt at being “relevant” which is usually ghettoized to mean “look and speak cool.” It’s about incarnation and a particular offense to mediocrity.

More than that, it’s a deep rooted belief that God has called us to act upon the stuff in our heads. The thirst for the sacred, the mysteries of God, the magic of the sacraments, the otherworldliness of corporate worship, the tears spent on broken people—they call us to act. We act by creating. By making stuff. We incarnate our thoughts into visual art and music and poetry and film. Projects, proposals and petitions. Moments and movements. The Cue is a main venue for this creativity.

The first post (sorry to be doing this backwards, but I don't think Westwinds would be bothered) is their 'philosophy of ministry,' a phrase that's less Westwinds than something 'imposed' upon them. I've been so impressed with these four posts that I'm going to print them out - so that I don't skim them (which is my habit when reading online), but think about them, and how they relate to my own church setting. You may find it useful to do the same.

Incidentally, on Facebook, Mark Broadbent is advertising a meeting called Jesus for the non-religious. Sounded good to me, but when I click on the information about it, this is what I find:

Do you like Jesus but not the church?
Are you sick and tired of religious hypocrites?
Have you ever wondered why the kinds of people who once ran to Jesus are now running from the church today?

“My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ…Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I'm anti-Christian. I think they might be right...the greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is 'Christianity.”'

Well, good on you, Erwin. Just don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, eh?


JVo said...

Glad the posts are helpful to you, man. Peace.

Mike Crowl said...

Certainly are. Intend passing them on to some others as well.