Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Church is Flat - Pt 2

An expected resistance to the idea of a Flat Church is that it is just like so much else in the church culture, it is getting in bed with the business world and modeling itself after secular marketing practices. This is much of what the "church growth movement" turned out to be; business principles wrongly applied to the church, in turn making her look more like a business than the organic entity She is. The church is the Bride, a relational being, not a bottom-line financial organization. Here is where I see this flattening shift as different than the church growth movement. The Flattening of the World is not just a business idea, but a radical paradigm shift. Its not tweaking the old model. It is leading to a whole new way of thinking. It is cultural, not simply pragmatic, and we as leaders need to brace ourselves for the opportunities into which we will collide. The challenge of the gospel through the ages has been to figure out how to be understood by its culture. The message does not change, but its listeners do. This is why Jesus said to not cast your pearls before swine. I don't believe he was teaching a lesson on stewardship, but one of communication. Pigs can't eat pearls. They want corn or other grain. The farmer gives them something they can eat, or else the pig will grow hungry, and become beligerent. As the world changes, if we continue to cast pearls (ideas, methods that are precious to us) before a hungry herd, no wonder it will turn against us. It is imperative that we understand these time, and shape the course of the future.

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