In spite of current ads and slogans, the world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible. This is good news for those of us intent on changing the world or creating a positive future. Rather than worry about critical mass, our work is to foster critical connections. We don’t need to convince large numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits. Through these relationships, we will develop the new knowledge, practices, courage, and commitment that lead to broad based change.–Margaret J Wheatley, “Using Emergence to Take Social Innovations to Scale”
This next week I have the opportunity of participating in a conversation taking place regarding the future of Emergent Village, a central voice within the larger emerging church movement. The quote above is part of the reading we were asked to do as we prepare for the intensive time together. It’s encouraging because it invites people into relationship–and that’s what this upcoming time (and really the whole of the emerging movement) seems to be about. I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I imagine there will be a deeper experience of the stories of God’s creative energy moving in and through people. I hope that the relationships built during this time will begin to help create a ferment for meaning and hopeful engagements going forward, in many of our lives.
I have to confess, in some ways Ifeel like an outsider to “the conversation”. I’ve spent the last decade taking a “time out” from sexy culturally relevant “church”. Instead I embraced a deconstructed “primitive church” model, filled with “flat leadership” and intentional proximity community. It’s been a great ride, but it also makes me feel as if I’m playing catch up on “what’s going on”. On the other hand, perhaps this last chapter in life might provide a context to share more deeply from. I feel like, in some ways, many of the ideals being touted today, can come across as high intentioned theoretics. But part of my life has been trying to “work those out” and take them to their logical conclusion. God, I’ve learned a lot of lessons. I feel like an 80 year old man sometimes. At times I’m too exhausted to imagine “what next”.
Whatever these next steps are for me, they will be ones laced with a sense of being compelled forward. They can’t be the next thing, or the cool thing, or what seems right…they must truly be a propelling ahead.
Certainly things are shifting, all over the world, I don’t think it can be seen any other way…People are exploring the lines of intersection between faith and culture, between content and container, between the things we thought were essential but were just applicable to an other time…Now, that’s an interesting dialog to be a part of. I’ll let you know how it goes.
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