This Doctor of Ministry program is huge, and I really am learning a great amount about leadership and community.
This semester we are working with a section of our ministry context/community in order to learn all we are able regarding people, places, and life.
Peter Block in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging brings forth the argument that one of the first things we look for in our communities are the negatives and the things we need to change. This is human nature, and it sets us up to failure immediately. Block suggests instead of looking at what is wrong and needs fixing, we should look at what is right, what good is happening, and what are the gifts of our community and then build upon them to make our community the best it can be.
I think you get the message here already. It hit me like a ton of bricks; stop seeing the faults, the negatives, the things that are not working, the broken, and instead look for that which makes us good and strong. I'm just thinking that if this would work in communities, it might just work in the church (which is a community) and it might just work in our homes and in our own lives.
God has created us in God's own image. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the Church. The Holy Spirit of God is hovering over all creation. I'm just thinking, but this means that this is some pretty good stuff God has blessed us with.
What if we approached our ministry contexts with eyes to see the good and the strong and moved forward empowering those? What if we stopped complaining about our denomination and its troubles and problems, and we started "bragging" about what gifts and graces we have as a Wesleyan people? What if we took all this good work and built upon it instead of trying to disassemble it, because it is not like what others are doing?
Block and others also share that we must never forget that communities are all about the people and their needs, not about our agendas and expert answers. We will fail every time we bring our stuff into the mix upon those we think we know best about; especially when we know very little.
Wow, could it be that our task is about relational evangelism? Knowing our sisters and brothers and building with them the Church of Jesus Christ? The Church is of God and will be preserved to the end of time ... we don't have to worry about that. We simply are called to lift the cross in the midst of the people we are blessed to serve and to work together to be God's best.
Lots to think about,