“Unlearn! Unlearn!” – Yoda

I’m just putting together the final parts of the report of this project, describing its current shape, future possibilities, and the journey the project has taken over the last 12 months.

One of the things that’s been a surprise has been how much knowledge I’ve had to unlearn. This section of the report is called “The things I no longer know”:

I’ve worked within the church for a number of years, in a variety of consultative positions. Over that period of time, I’ve built up a large base of knowledge – some ‘truths’ I could confidently assume when I went into a congregation to work with them. These included the following:

That people need to know each other to worship well together.
That people are longing for community, and that the church is the best place to offer it.
That offering worship that’s intelligent, creative and well-designed will mean people will come in off the street to find it.
That there is a natural (and right) progression from attending to participating, to belonging, to ‘owning’, to leading…
That society needs the church to point it towards the work of God in the world.
That our buildings and structures aren’t what put people off.

I’ve discovered throughout this last year that these are not ‘truths’ that I can assume in this project. I’m in the process of discovering what hypotheses to replace them with.


  1. There is no spoon.

    A while back I read a book by Michael Slaughter called the Unlearning Church, then more recently I heard a story of a guy naming the time in-between as detoxing from the church culture.

    Kind of makes you wonder about how our theological colleges train people for ministry when there don’t appear to be ‘truths’ out there. How do you teach something that you don’t know?

    How do you learn how to stand under something without a clue of what your looking at?

  2. Cheryl

    ‘detoxing from church culture’! i love that! that’s exactly what the last year has felt like. i no longer go to church meetings… and they feel very, very weird if i have to pop into one.

    i’m at a Tom Bandy conference this week, curating the worship… my head is full of this stuff at the moment. i need to let it sift for a while before i can respond intelligently…

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