Thursday, April 20, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 1

Wow, we've had great discussions so far. And it's only the beginning.

Thank you all for contributing, and thanks for keeping these things above board and in the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit that binds us and brings peace.

The first chapter gives Vincent's summary of the history of missionary work in Africa.

I'm interested in finding out everybody's take on what he has to say.


Josh said...

I'm not quoting anything this time, b/c I'd like to see what other quotes people pull out...

But there were some interesting thoughts to ponder: page 7 points out that missionary work and church work was extremely child-oriented.

Might even be true today.

also on page 7, after 100 years of the church being in africa, an african was set up as a leader in the church.

I wonder if this happens in our churches. we missionize, christianize, and evangelize, but where's the equippenizing?

Josh said...

Since I'll be at the partyrific district assembly tomorrow, I'm going to put my new post in today...

Nate said...

I haven't had a chance to read chapter one yet, I just received the book 15 minutes ago....but I think this has been one of the greatest mistakes the church has made in making new disciples. We have been so driven that new converts "live right, believe right, marry right, and die right," that we have failed to trust them, and the holy spirit to direct, lead, and shepherd them...more on this later.

Brian said...

First reaction - saddness. I'm glad someone is trying, I guess, but I'm also disappointed at the curious ways we distort our efforts so often. I can't help but turning the lense back on myself and my ministry(s). Where have I or am I missing it all together?

The quote that 90% of the equipping was happening through untrained "catechists" is a bit telling to me. I think we too often are too quick to turn over the reigns of discipleship and growth to the unprepared and untrained.

For example, on an individual level we say, "welcome to Christ, glad you prayed the prayer, here's a Bible now get reading". (a bit of a paraphrase perhaps) But then we don't tell them how or where or what to do with their thoughts after they have read it. Do I keep them to myself? Do I ask questions? Where do I? When do I? Usually we just teach people to interpret on their own and hold their own beliefs. Where the community and authority there? Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for empowering people, but I'm definitely NOT for pooling ignorance for poolings sake.

On a community level, we don't question or ask questions of our teachers or pastors. Where do they come up with these thoughts and ideas that they share? Are they only theirs? I heard one pastor tell another young pastor that if he ever had an original thought in a sermon, he better go back and re-write it because it was probably wrong.

All of this begs the question of who is or should be training our "leaders"? and also what role does the community play in that training and the authority with which people "lead".

Second impression is that it seems to me that the church at its best is the subservient, underground church doing things to love people, not so much this formalized organization that we seem to have fallen in love with as a measuring stick of our "success" in a place. God's work is clear because of what is left behind, not how BIG it is.

Sam said...

Two things I noticed:

1) That we often want to take the simple road to "results." The slavery apostolate was a failure, then it was the schools, but it was all empty. Just grasping for control.

2) I hadn't thought about our "new" social mission purpose in the way he described it. Another material step up for the people. Development and such. Funny how we tend to gloss over things and not ask questions because it's assumed to be correct. hmmm