Slope and Control

With regards to Richard’s piece on ‘slope‘ and the comments about it:

I was thinking about the time I spend with the youth of our local church. Am I:
1. Running a group with the agenda of communicating Christ to them
2. Running a group with the sole agenda of enabling them to be a group and have their own agenda’s, and just being Christ to them.

Certainly the pressure is on me (from tradition) to do (1) and sure I hope that I do communicate Christ to them, but is that my agenda?

Hmmm, is there a condition that I attach to attendance that they must allow me to control a certain amount of the time we spend together? If so, do they come in spite of that? If so, is that a positive thing?

Would it be better to relinquish any attempt to control and just to be there on their terms?

Whilst I’m tending toward the idea of a lack of control I’m not sure that this is a lack of slope. Surely if I practise ‘being Christ to people’ then I am always a slope, always a way in?

But this is slope without hidden agenda, without control, without events – just me being the new me.


3 thoughts on “Slope and Control

  1. That’s a very good point. It makes me think about the difference between having an agenda to love (and therefore communicate Christ) and having an agenda which is merely to indoctrinate and to cause to conform.

    Sounds like there was a lot of love in your group! 🙂

    What I must remember is not to shy away from communicating Christ because I’m worried that it might be seen merely as an indoctrination agenda.

  2. The slope idea has a sense of the inevitable a process culminating in an uncontrolled roll to the goal at the bottom. Personally this doesn’t rest well with me or my understanding of God. But i’m keen not to shy away from what it is to live life in all it’s fullness as a Christian, which must have some manifestation of God’s indwelling whatever this may look or sound like!!

    Personally I’m moving towards the idea of us being a honey comb each of us a gateway to a larger whole. We are told that we are a fragrance within this world to some it will be the fragrance of death but to others a sweet and attractive fragrance that draws people to want to know more.

    The openings within the honey comb are like gateways to the greater whole each radiating the sweet fragrant honey not in order to woo or control but because it is what it is, the fragrance uncontainable oozes from within.

    I struggle with the idea of evangelising people into the kingdom but for some this will be the way they come to know God maybe the slope approach will bring people in but what about all the other ways in which God is working on an ordinary level where people are just oozing God that dwells within. Even if we adopt a slope approach how do people get to the slope in the first place? I reckon we get back to that lingering smell, whether it smells good or bad it triggers response.

    Obviously the image of a honey comb is limited but the thing i love best about it is that it is constructed by a combination of different efforts. Each whole being built up of thousands of compartments resembling gateways/entry points. Each of these are unique but also each has been created for a greater goal. People will approach faith from many different entry points. Subsequently demanding different questions to be satisfied, a one size fits all approach both in content and style of delivery couldn’t possible allow for this.

    My hope is that i can be a fragrant entry point where i am and in the way that God manifests himself through me. It may be having coffee and a chat, giving a smile to a stranger on the bus, developing honest and challenging relationships with people or through a directive outreach programme but whatever it looks like i want it to reak of the fragrance that is God dwelling in my life. As for what happens next well i’m still thinking about the honey!!

  3. I did like Hanna’s idea of the honey cone. The thing that I think about is whether the young epople who I have contact with should be allowed to make their own decisions or whether I should be guiding them. The one thing I have learnt through councilling is that we can only hold on to what we beleive as individuals, so therefore young people need to hold on to things, ie beliefs for themselves and not necessarily what others beelieve. We are about to run a Romance Academy here in Harrogate, (some may have seen the tv programme), and this is based on the idea that young people come voluntarily and we talk about various issues, but it is not restrictive. There is some guidance, ie what topics to cover on which weeks, but the content of the evening is not controled, as the organisers realise that we know our young people better than they do, and also they do not know what is going to come up during that evening. so there needs to be some flexibility in meetings, idea of an outline works well, having total control may not as the young people need to work things out for themselves, as if they hold on to what we beleve and not their own belief they may well lose that grip on their beliefs in the future.

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