Recombinant Church Consulting: Purpose

  • To walk faithfully on the “knife edge of uncertainty” in a radically changing world and spiritual ecosystem.
  • To rise in hope in the midst of our community contexts.
  • To Engage in Spirit led ministry without regard to sustainability.
  • To reinvent joyfully and courageously the church as we go.

Our purpose is informed by these understandings:

  • “Facing reality is an empowering act – it can liberate our mind and heart to discern how best to use our power and influence in service of this time.” (Margaret Wheatley)
  • Denominational institutions as currently organized are not capable of addressing our changing world and developing spiritual ecosystem.
  • Through prototyping, networking and communities of practice within and beyond normal accountability structures, churches can adapt in new ways to serve God, share the good news of Jesus Christ and model possibilities.
  • In collaboration with our communities, the Gospel can emerge in life giving ways not dependent on denominational organizations. We are not the only ones interested in love, compassion, justice and healthy community.
  • Innovation and sustainability currently undertaken by institutional religion is in service of existing structures, making adaptive change impossible. However wonderful the ministry project, sustainability diverts us from reinventing the church and offers a false sense of prudence.
  • New ministry roles will arise independent of the institutional church, which is frozen into ministry models and compensation programs made for a different era. The typical ministry position description which assigns “hours per work area” is driven by a conflict avoidance approach that reduces ministry personnel to line managers and undermines ministerial leadership and partnership with congregational leaders. This position description formula serves what Gil Rendle calls the private mission of the church and not the public mission for which leadership must be defined.  See, Rendle, Gil. Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in a Changing World. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019, pp. 6-8.  He states: “the work of leadership must do more than improve.  It must change.”  In this regard, The United Church of Canada is failing.  In our radically changing world, church leadership and minister must craft the leadership roles as ministry is undertaken and devise whatever performance measures seem appropriate based on the joint exploration of the new landscape for doing the public mission.  In this changing landscape, assigning hours per traditional church work area is more akin to establishing the dimensions of one’s coffin than opening a chute to new life.
  • People desire a spiritual authenticity that develops through significant personalization and personal “playlists” that may or may not include church as currently known and defined. This personalization includes transformational community life.
  • Salvation is helping humankind and all creation become fully alive now.
  • Our metaphors for God and God understandings are too often antiquated notions that are inadequate in light of science. We are ceding ground to materialists that is unnecessary.
  • We will find our future on the knife edge of uncertainty, as suggested by the work of Joanna Macy. It is on the knife edge that we will find courage for the journey.
  • As stated by Margaret Wheatley, “The most powerful organizing dynamic in life is identity. . . . Without identity, there is no life.”
  • The path we teach and support is a sacred offering for our churches and denominations.

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