Discovered vs. Created

I am continually amazed at how many things in our lives should be discovered "because of", instead of "created for". Let me explain.

Community, the church buzz word of the last decade is something we should discover when a group of people begin to get out of their own way and allow the Spirit to move in through confession to God and each other. But instead, it has become something churches try to "do" (create) to desperately try and prove that the Spirit is moving. SO stupid. Just like love isn't love if you earned it, community isn't community if you "created" it. It must take you by surprise.

Think about all this "mission" and "vision" jargon. Both are discovery words- NOT creation words. We should be discovering vision as we live out values. Once the vision has been discovered, mission is abundantly revealed. Why, in church leadership, do we insist on going backwards? We create wonderful mission statements, then desperately try and create a vision that fits (it almost always talks about vision for the church, not the world- how backwards is that?) and then create some values to "make it work".

This whole "missional" thing is useless the minute we try to create it. It's like saying you're humble. Missionality is DISCOVERED when a church lives out values and God plants a vision. And a vision from God will always be a picture of the world and its' redemption, not a picture of a wonderfully "effective" church.


Tim Bailey


The Renegade Librarian said...

"Here comes the pitch, folks...Bailey pulls that ball deep to straight-away centre and its....GONE! HOME RUN, TIMOTHY BAILEY!!!!!"

Jon said...

"...A vision from God will always be a picture of the world and its' redemption, not a picture of a wonderfully "effective" church."

Wonderfully worded, Tim. Thank you.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

I appreciate your thoughts here, agreeing that we often try to produce by sheer will that which only the Spirit can bring into being in us. I wrote a blog post some time ago around this quote, which (I think) says the same thing you are getting at:

"Theology is discovery, not invention"

However, I think the real intentional, sacrificial work that community, missionality, etc. requires is essential. Discovery rarely happens to people. It comes as a result of lives of disciplined and dedicated focus. It is hard work.

The issue for is application vs. implication. The moment you try to add on missionality as a new widget, we have proven ourselves to be ignorant of what it means to be missional. However, I do believe that we can and must be intentional about becoming missional.

Perhaps we are saying the same thing and I just missed it. Thanks!


Len Hjalmarson said...

Accurate, lovely...