Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our own big conversation

Today we had lunch together as members and non-members, followed by a conversation about membership. We asked some simple questions:

  • What kind of members/followers does God want us to produce in this place?
  • What kind of experiences do we need to become those kind of followers/members?
  • What would you put in a covenant style promise?

It was a good conversation. About 30 or so people came and we had a good mix of members and non-members.

I think that it's high time we began a process of re-imagining church for the 21st century. There's something about formal membership and the often internally focused responsibilities and expectation that doesn't sit well with a missional, incarnational view of church.

Interestingly one of the reasons given for non-membership was a desire not to have responsibility for decision-making. I didn't hear this as saying they were not interested in the decision-making process, it was more a case of let others get on with making the decisions and I'll get on with what I do as a result of those decisions.

It was certainly worth doing and I wonder how I can implement a similar process in my new setting later this year. I think the questions need refining, but the idea of sitting down and talking about what all of see as the key issues and process and promises could be very worthwhile.

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