Friday, June 20, 2014

mutual apology, healing, and forgiveness

I was struck with Richard Rohr's thoughts yesterday about the place and responsibility of relationship restoration and what it is for human beings move ahead with dignity.

"Only mutual apology, healing, and forgiveness offer a sustainable future for humanity. Otherwise, we are controlled by the past, individually and corporately. We all need to apologize, and we all need to forgive or this human project will surely self-destruct. No wonder that almost two-thirds of Jesus’ teaching is directly or indirectly about forgiveness. Otherwise, history winds down into the taking of sides, deep bitterness, and remembered hurts..."

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Healthy Church #1 Energised by faith

Ongoing reflections on Warren, R (2004) The Healthy Churches' Handbook and its 7 marks of health...

The first mark of health to consider is what it is to be energised by faith. While it seems a little obvious on a first read through, the more I thought of it, the more challenging it became. 

Robert Warren sees being energised by faith to be foundational for healthy churches."At the heart of these churches and their members is a reality about their awareness of the presence, goodness and love of God. Faith is the fuel on which these churches run." Warren, R (2004) The Healthy Churches' Handbook. Church House Publishing

The recognition is that a strong sense of church identity stems from 'knowing' the reality of God's love, experiencing it through a worship shaped by Christlike living. This is all about a motivation that embodies the Great Commandment, love for God and neighbour. 

The danger comes from when that motivation is knocked, and a church finds its identity in either what it seeks to portray of itself, or a blind survival maintenance that comes from just keeping things going. A church energised by faith notices both its need to be seen as significant and any insecurities of perceived failure. A church energised by faith knows what it is to reflect theologically and feels the friction when it is not shaped by the values of the kingdom. 

It seems that energised by faith is about maturity and growth, and about relaxing into a church life shaped by love and goodness.