Monday, July 02, 2012

Tennis, fitness, theology and church!

Now I'm a PT I think I ought to look the part, so I'm working on a plan to improve my general fitness and lose some body fat along the way. I have a semi-final match tomorrow and I'm aware just how unfit I seem to have become, although I guess I've not be very fit for a long time now.

The thin is, how do you define fitness? It's easy to look fit but being fit is more of a challenge. There are fitness measures, and interestingly I came about above average in some fitness testing I did the other week. But I don't feel fit when I play tennis. So it's time to train again and see where we get.

An important aspect of this has to be the goal I set. We all know about smart goals, so let's not bother defining what that means, let's focus on setting the goal. Just wanting to be fitter is not specific enough, so I guess I need to work out something more focussed, but that's quite hard in a tennis setting. I have a book on my Amazon wish list that might help, but I think I can work something out myself.

So what's the connection between tennis and fitness and theology and church?

Well, it's obviously connected with the idea of functional discipleship, but do goals have a place in the life of the church? Some might say yes, others might say no. The problem with goals in church life is that church is not a business and any goals have to be more than smart, they have to be biblical and most decidedly Spirit-inspired.If we are not careful, our goals can be prescribed by our limited imagination or even dare one say our over zealous faith. Yes, God can do more than we ask or imagine, but that needs to be handled carefully God is not some sort of divine slot machine of blessing, whose purpose is to bless your brilliant idea.

I'm more conscious of the need to plan and pray and envision in one way as we face not having a legacy church to serve. I've always been a visionary sort of person, but historically it's been within a church setting. Now I have no church. I'm considered to be "out of ministry" and my context is undefined and in many ways unexplored territory.

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching at a church we've been visiting on behalf of the denomination. It got me thinking about what we have left behind. There is a lot about church that I do not miss at all. In fact there is very little that I think I'd say I really do miss. I certainly didn't feel any great surge of desire to return to leadership in a legacy church. So it becomes more significant to think through what our call is in our new situation and to discern what God is doing in our new neighbourhood.

Perhaps, if I commit myself to getting fit by exercising outside, I'll get to meet people with whom I can build both a working relationship (I am a PT after all!) and some spiritual connection too. Who knows. What I do know is that the model of leadership in the legacy church would not have allowed me to explore this at all.

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