The End is Nigh As I come to the end of 5 years in my current role It is only right that I get all philosophical, sit outside somewhere, put on a white toga (A greek mans excuse to where a dress, lets not pretend its anything else) and question everything I have done up until now. “Very Socratic of you” I hear you say…. …To be honest I didn’t get very far, it was a little cold and unlike Eddy Izzard, I just can’t pull off a dress.
In my short time of reflection however I did think about something a friend brought up and that is ‘Professionalism’ and ‘Spontaneity’ in the Church. I personally have had a tendency for the spontaneous and definitely started my ministry with the view that the church is not a business and there is no room for 5 year plans in the kingdom; especially as the main plan for me has always been about seeing Revelation 21 in the here and now. However as time has passed I have become much more methodical and have landed in what I would see as the middle ground. Its sad really, when I think back, so many of my disagreements with people in church have been about organisation and whether or not I am being professional or spontaneous enough. Some would say that: ‘Without organisation the Church will fail’ and others would say: ‘Organisation stifles the Spirit and is the work of the people, not God’. What is really going here, I think, is a subconscious ‘Professionalism’ VS ‘Spontaneity’ battle, the two are not being seen as partners but rivals and become polar opposites. People then tend to choose which side of the fence they feel more comfortable sitting on. But when we do this, I think we are doing the Church a disservice. The Church needs both Spontaneity and professionalism.
The Church is getting it, I think, when the Spirit of God is breathing through the people who, are the Church. The spirit inspires, develops and shapes us whilst developing our gifts, such as, for some, is the gift of organisation (praise God for these people in my life!); and the spirit must be free to flow through us and through our traditional and funky church models. If we set out rigorous guidelines and detailed 5 year plans, we can easily squeeze the spirit out of the Church, after all we do have the free will to reject God and do things our own way (thats a scary thought…). Likewise if we stick up our V’s to the structures and organisers in our church, we can just as easily make things ‘spontaneous’ and actually end up making a structure of spiritual blagging which looks good to those who feel comfortable in it, but ultimately is just as bad for the church as its counterpart.
I think we need to pick up our bibles and read Gods story, there is plenty of spirit and organisation and they come under the same banner and work together to see the Kingdom of Heaven come, If anyone says otherwise, I would probably hazard a guess their not reading it the good book the right way up. We also need to make sure that our view on how we do church does not become more important than the reason we are called to be church. If we stand on one side of the fence and critique the other we will only cause division, but if we learn to work with the spirit whilst aiming to be professional in what we do, surely the only result is an impressive kindgom focused body that people are drawn to…what a thought…