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September 18, 2005


In response to info on DO-BE-DO at the moment it is just shorthand as a way of putting into action this chaotic but intentional way of living within a redefined paradigm of church.

It is little more than a framework encouraging action (DO) – reflection (BE) – action (DO), so there is no long explanation, or place to look at it.

One element of DO-BE-DO stems from some of my observations that many of the emerging church groups seem to locate the church element, in the process of coming together to plan a service or event that may take place monthly or a few times a year. This can reinforce the old paradigm of church as an event at a particular time, and yet for many it is the community that evolves through the planning process that is key. People bring their ideas and concerns to the planning process and a theme develops then an event is put on; the community that evolves is a positive by-product. I would suggest that within DO-BE-DO the worship event should be just one of the things the group does, and if people can bring the whole of their interest to the group then the collapse between church and the whole of life may begin. For example I know that within Grace, Jonny (Baker) has an interest in ad busting (sorry to pick on you Jonny), could the group come together to explore this and undertake some adbusts together (maybe they have) as part of their activity? Within my redefinition (see manifesto), this kind of activity would be encompassed within church.

I would love to hear from any of the emerging groups, if any of this resonates with you, and if you have had shared experiences outside of the worship planning process where you have questioned if it was church.

A second element of DO-BE-DO would incorporate the kind of issue Rivertribemike faces and raised in the comments when TSK posted the manifesto.

This is primarily where the intentionality element comes in, being in a group that sees the whole of life as church and so carries this mindset into all they do. The group can either participate with Mike in the birthday celebrations and then help him reflect on how he can grow through the experiences, or by Mike bringing his experiences from the celebration to the group in order to reflect and grow. His comments already show that he was thinking about how God connects with his birthday and who knows how bringing others into the reflection process (either in advance of the day or after) may change him and others involved.

Any thoughts on where to next also appreciated?

This item was posted by Richard Passmore

posted to Church @ 6:36 pm


  • At 10:05 am on September 20, 2005, imagine! commented:

    I agree that our theology should stem from what we do in a process of action/reflection…I’m a little less convinced that who we are (the shape and definition of church) emanates from what we do. I would prefer church to be defined more by: DO-BE-DO-BE-DO. Anything tends towards a a worship and elevation of our achievements and what we get out of church, which, from what I’ve read of your stuff Richard, you don’t suscribe to.

  • At 10:06 am on September 20, 2005, imagine! commented:

    I’ve just posted this and realised the whole point of my comment has been lost by me missing a BE out!!!….correction to above: I prefer…”BE-DO-BE-DO”

  • At 5:47 pm on September 20, 2005, annieporthouse commented:

    I think you guys are in danger of writing the next classic christian song of the decade, 2nd only to ‘shine Jesus shine’.
    So far it goes:

    Be-do be-do be-do

    and it’s growing on me all the time… we just need a decent tune to put it to, and we can send it off to Kingsway and make our 1st million!

    sorry – couldn’t resist!
    will make more grown-up comments soon… honest!

  • At 8:38 pm on September 20, 2005, Richard Passmore commented:

    sha-lang-a-lang do wap sha-woo. May be i have been listening to too much of of my old music I even dug The Darts out on sunday. Anyway back to Richards point. I didnt want to advocate that church eminates from us (what we do) but through the joined up process (avoiding the multi faceted dualism mentioned) and maybe the first part of DO-BE-DO is around the commitment to Do church in a redefined way.

  • At 11:00 pm on September 20, 2005, Jason Silver commented:

    Great blog.

    I agree that a very important aspect of church is “being” the church, and that the worship service should just be something we “do…”; one of the things we do.

    However, I think we often forget that being the church is more than just self-focused, inward, spirituality. The edgy church will make a difference in the community by taking jesus’ hands out into the streets and touching the poor, the hungry, the poor-in-spirit.

    Just my two-cents.

  • At 7:58 pm on September 21, 2005, Richard Passmore commented:

    Thanks Jason perhaps it should just be singing is one of the things we do, worship is with the whole of life within DO-BE-DO.

    I agree the with the outward comment but another characteristic would be that the there is an inclusivity to the process and my friends on the street could just as easily suggest what we DO as my friend who is a mum or accountant.

  • At 1:35 am on September 22, 2005, Jason Silver commented:

    Hmm. Yeah, that’s really hard, isn’t it. We’re think we’ve got the inside scoop on how to act like Jesus, but being able to listen to people outside the faith, even learn from them is cool.

    And it doesn’t undermine our impact, I think it enhances it, because that just doesn’t happen very much. People will likely notice this as very unusual.

    I’ve seen people outside of the Christian faith really respond to serving alongside us… whether serving breakfast to street people, picking up garbage in the downtown, or whatever. It lets them experience the effect of serving the poor.

    Because really, we serve the poor because WE NEED IT, not because they need it– though they often do.

    Anyway, great convo.


  • At 4:19 pm on February 7, 2006, SUNDAY PAPERS pingbacked:

    […] Now we have landed in the area I think the time to reevaluate is fast approaching. I guess we will see how the discussions with the misson group pan out but the people have been great to us and I am not of the mindset to jump ship, but struggling with the growing uneasiness and what questions I need to ask myself and the family regarding church. Maybe four days from moving it is the wrong time to ask any questions anyway! The trouble is if I dont do it soon the process of getting sucked into a way of being church that I can no longer authentically and wholeheartedly agree with will happen weather I like it or not. In the mean time seeing the process as part of the DO -BE – DO approach to church helps, so thanks to those of you who have helped promote the uneasy feelings by questioning my involvement. […]

  • At 4:14 pm on September 18, 2008, SUNDAY PAPERS pingbacked:

    […] REFLEXIVE JUSTIFICATION – I wrote as part of the series about a redefinition of church on Do-Be-Do and this is a continuation of that process. When you are not sure what to do get and do something […]

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