Following on from THIS post I have a lot of conversation about both/and. I always seem to be in meetings, in classrooms, in churches, where when we are talking about change, doing things differently we kind of reach a polite “yes but it’s both/and”. If it’s about the focus of the work pushing out into riskier mission initiatives, Both/and is used so as it’s not at the expense of other. Wether it was when I was in YFC or in local situations, people used the both/and approach, perhaps as an excuse to keep pet projects going, maintain a level of status quo or just avoid upsetting people, it’s a phrase that always seems to pop up, and I’m not sure Jesus was a both/and kind of guy.
Recently I have been rethinking about change and my role. Now on the edge of the inside it is very easy to succumb to the both/and too easily but when the locus of activity is already centralised it can too easily maintain the status quo. I wonder if we need to resist a bit more this mentality, not out of awkwardness but as part of moving to the edge, redressing the balance. In the post Jesus didn’t sit with the marginalised the locus was relocated out of the system, which leads me to question the validity of the both/and. As mentioned in the Last post a deliberate strategy of leading edge innovation and third spaces has pulled us forward faster than I could ever have imagined. But I am still wrestling a lot with the comfort of my role, and it’s very different from the having time to hang out on the streets, so trying to find myself a new space at the edge. In a recent conversation where the both/and was used it was about changing the church and how as big ship it takes time to change direction and with people on the inside steering the rudder it will happen eventually. However I wonder if the ships already adrift if a few well placed tugs pulling from the front would be far more effective and quicker. Perhaps we need those with their hand on the rudder to let go and invest in a few tugs, these are NOT disconnected from the ship but have the distance and space to pull it in a new direction.