Monday, June 12, 2006

The Church is Flat (or at least it should be)

The first misunderstanding of the Flat Church is that is about technology. Discussions or blogs I have come across from those that are trying to tap into the "flattening of the world" wave seem to be centered around how to better use technology in the church. Such as: "Let's set up a web-based new member connection system...." "We can interconnect all our satellite campuses via video on Sunday morning..." "This technology can enable us to have the sermon broadcast to international congregations..." All of these are missing the point. And the point is not the use of technlogy; its all about getting people involved in the work of service, in their gifting, in their passion, prompted by the Spirit. The first step in understanding the flattening of the church is to get this. To gather all our people under one roof, or get them listening to the same sermon preached by the same guy is not inspiring. There was a time when I thought that way, so I can understand it to some degree. But getting all our people empowered and active is much more thrilling to me now. When I was a vocational minstry person, I had the idea in mind that the role of leadership is to empower the laity, but that's really much harder done that said. It was always rewarding for me to find a new musician who could sing or play in the praise band, but it was still church work, within the walls of the church as we know it. And while this worked for students who had musical talents, I finally realized that I needed to expand the scope of empowerment to those who could serve in ways outside the realm of church. And if I was to do so, I would have take a leave from the form of church that I knew and see if I could actually make it happen. Ultimately, the challenge was directed at myself; "Could I empower myself to move into my community with my gifting and be a blessing with it?" This is the unanswered question. You can follow this blog to see if the question will be answered, "Yes."

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