white paper exercises

We dream of a blank sheet of paper, we often talk about people acting as if they have a blank piece of paper, but is it really possible? We all have our own agendas, ideas and ‘baggage’ that we bring to the table. A genuine ‘white paper exercise’ is rarely that, there will always be a smudge, always something that will rear its head.

However, it is possible that the smudge becomes a vignette that surrounds the ideas, that helps focus the mind and liberates the soul. In truth, a whitewashed exercise will rarely create anything – we need the creativity, the added colour, the freedom to express. What we need are not white paper exercises but freedom to contribute.

When around the table, allow everyone a voice. Tolerate every…yes, every, idea. Explore all options. Let the creativity loose and see what happens.

Theology of Place – Quote

“Among the “cooler” circles of many of my hipster urban church planter friends, it is common to hear an anti-“bricks and mortar” bent. If catacombs and homes were good enough for the first-century church, it is good enough for them. This is fine if we accept that ecclesia is simply a one-to-two-hour-a-week event that can happen in borrowed space. But if Christ-centered community is something more than a weekly gathering, then redemption of place and community re-enter the equation. What we need is a theology of place.”

in ‘View from the Urban Loft’ by Sean Benesh

Local Church in an Urban Landscape

There is a rising number of ‘resource church’ labels being bandied around these days. It is a fresh take on the old latimer model and with the size of the urban centres increasing exponentially the Cathedral system needs greater support. It is not a bad thing but it may be helpful for these churches to know what they are resourcing, what the strategy is and if there is a need for them to be bunched together.

This is not a rant but a plea for some fresh thinking. Local church takes on a whole new understanding in a large urban sprawl that has good transport links. Community looks different in many places and there is a willingness for many to travel. A local church can be a fair distance from where you live because local is smaller (not the same in an estate – there are exceptions, especially for those for whom travel is not an accessible option) but this tends to be less likely for the poorer families and communities. Their local is not quite the same.

Wouldn’t it be great if the resource churches used their resources to enable those with less freedom rather than use resources for ‘bigger and better events’ in their own setting? This is the intention for many but can easily be forgotten…..let’s make sure we keep it on the agenda so that every community has access to ‘local’ christian witness, whatever your definition of local.

Why?

Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do? Tell me, why do some people;

  1. phone me to ask if I have read their email? – just do one or the other, not both, you are duplicating workload.
  2. leave a phone message to ask me to call back when they could just leave a better message? – this is just lazy and adding unnecessarily to workload
  3. read their presentation directly from notes and give you the handout? – just give me the handout. If you do a presentation then add life to the written page.
  4. pay for a gym membership to do step training, yet do not walk up escalators? – one is free, the other extortionate
  5. attend a concert, make a poor recording on their phone and then buy a professional recording to watch? – ignore the poor recording and engage in the concert

There are many, many more but these were the first few that came to mind. What would you add to the list?