Monday, July 10, 2006

The dilemma of similarity

I've had a really good day. Pottered about this morning reading, browsing, blogging - even managed to do some washing and some dishes. Got some really encourgaging and exciting emails from friends - it's great when you hear good news about people progressing in their chosen paths.

Part of my afternoon was spent chatting with my current church placement supervisor. We were working on the agreement or 'learning and serving covenant' that forms the basis of our time together. I guess our discussion was, strictly, confidential - but I really benefited from it, and was fascinated to here my supervisor's response to some of my thougbts. I shared with him my observation that all the churches I've known in the last two or three years are tending to sing the same hymns or worship songs. This, despite the fact that the leaders of these churches come from different ends of the theological spectrum (remember, the Church of Scotland is a 'broad' church.)

DM coined the phrase 'the dilemma of similarity' in our discussion. Churches, even new churches, all tend towards the same patterns or structures in their development. I think we shared a longing for the possibility that new churches, or established churches, would be able to grow or change in ways that reflected the gifts of local church people. This would lead to particular mission and service focused on local needs. But, the dilemma of similarity is working against our dream.

I also shared another dream that I have for my future ministry. In any given ministry I would work with the aim of making myself redundant. I would try and build up people so that they could be the church in all its fullness and maturity - without the need for teaching elders - an aim akin, perhaps, to Ephesians 4:11-16? With God nothing is impossible! Pray, then, for my early (and happy) retirement. And, given that prayer, pray for a fair and equitable solution to the pensions crisis...

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