I had lunch with a friend yesterday who works for the church in a consultancy position – similar in many ways to a position i used to hold. She talked about how she’d just realised that the work she was doing wouldn’t change the church – that no amount of impassioned speaking, no cleverly crafted consultation would actually bring about transformation.
she’d realised that all we do, when we do those things, is create a culture of dependency, an addiction to an inspiration high which dissipates (or is swallowed up by the guilt of inaction) a couple of weeks after the event.
i’ve been getting an increased number of requests from congregations to come and ‘do worship’ at their church, and then run a workshop. It’s a privilege to be asked. I am saying no, though, for just those reasons – i’m more and more convinced that it’s a destructive pattern that’s not actually done a lot to help the church.
when i say no, and suggest that people might want to come to workshops and ongoing training stuff that will be done across the synod, i’m often told that approach won’t work in their church because people won’t go to anything outside of their local church. I do have to wonder, though, if people aren’t willing to go to something outside their local area, are they really going to be willing to change their worship?
I’m finalising dates for next year, we’re planning a stack of good training and workshops across the synod – based on a praxis model. some of it will be specifically for ministers, others just for lay people, some for both… We’ll have the dates and details up on the website in December…
[i’m on leave for the next week. i plan to read trashy fiction, not theology… and while i might redeem myself by saying that i’m going to the U2 concert on the 19th, i have to say that i’m looking forward just as much to hearing Toni Collette sing at the northcote social club the night before… i am so uncool…]