Incarnation and Disruptive experiences

Last week in after reflecting on Petes interview and our practice around TAZ (check out Kester), Flow and our approaches around being and growing church, that collapse the idea of the idea of mission as a bridge into church I tweeted

“The process of being and growing church should be a disruptive experience that is a series of encounters with the other”

I have been thinking for a while how we are so fixed in our own paradigms that we often take an approach and deceive ourselves that we are using it as intended. A classic example is Messy Church – where people so often use it as an outreach tool into ‘proper’ church. They think they are doing something different but when pushed will not leave established services to free up time to invest in being and growing church in the Messy context.
It is interesting to look at incarnational youth work and how this spawned notions of relational youth ministry – much of which was simply a tool like youth alpha or a youth club to get young people into ‘proper’ church. As such when Pete suggests there does have to be an IN he is right.
However when we think around incarnational youth work to be and grow church (and to help us discover what the church and gospel actually are as we encounter others) there is no in. In order to make this a reality this needs to embrace both the relational nature of the incarnation and the disruptive. This is not a new to my thinking Here I wrote that faith is about the redemptive processes that consistently ruptures our worldview (inc our faith paradigm) and is a series of revolutionary moves that form and shape a new (at the time) but growing (in hindsight) understanding of God.

At the moment I am very hopeful of the work going on around the openness to genuine change both around the missionary encounter with other (Ian Adams posted a series of quotes from Christianity Rediscovered that got people talking) and to changes in the liturgical space Pete mentions that Ikon experimented with. The challenge to not allow the gravitational pull to suck us back remains, and we need to counter this by asking mission/kingdom shaped questions rather than church shaped ones.

6 thoughts on “Incarnation and Disruptive experiences

  1. at the same time (and there may be loads which i simply havent seen???) I have yet to hear or read a really authoritative voice that seems to be able to express the simplicity of ‘when your on the street corner or in the supermarket and with another – this could be / is church’ . a voice that is which seems to get promo’d in such a fashion as lots of people have access to hear it. Pete is great but lets do it in straight forward english if we can , no? That there may be liberation for the ordinary bums on pew ‘joe’ who in to more incarnational living. surely theres time for such simple speaking on the program of Green Belt and other places – I simply dont know who to suggest…?

  2. Have you read ‘Practicing the way of Jesus’ by Mark Scandrette. It has interesting thoughts on disruption, although he uses the term ‘experiments’. Quite interesting, thoughts on experiments that are disrupting enough to change worldviews and that are done with non-churched people.

  3. cool dylan that is the kind of thing we have planned for April with Cakeful – bring the book to the Gathering if you remember

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