David Lose on adaptive change

/ 14 February 2013

I’m way behind in reading the blogs I subscribe to. Somehow in the midst of everything else that is going on in my life and the life of the institutions I care about, blogs have fallen further down the priority pile. But here is a fascinating, four-part reflection that my colleague David Lose has written: (one, two, three, four).

A couple of pieces from his writing that I would lift up:

"The problem, in short, is that in a world of overwhelming obligations and opportunities where work knows no bounds and the culture no longer values going to church, our people need to be able to connect their faith to their daily lives themselves, not just come to church to have the pastor do it for them." "We need to shift from a “performative” model of ministry -- in which the mark of competence is that the professional does the central tasks of the faith well -- to a “formative” model of ministry. In this model, the mark of competence is that, as time passes, the congregation members get better themselves at the central skills of the faith, such as interpreting Scripture, making connections between faith and life, and sharing their faith with others." "We need to cultivate not just leaders working faithfully and creatively on their own, but a supportive network of colleagues who are willing to experiment with each other, learn from each other and remind each why we’re doing this in the first place." "We also need to spread the vision, inviting our people into the future we imagine." "The trends are clear. There’s no doubt that in the next 10 or 20 years the church is going to get smaller. The question is whether it will also get more vibrant. I think it might, particularly if we have leaders willing to look at unlikely people who are doing interesting things that might just lead us to new practices, new patterns, new ways of being church in a post-church, post-Christian world. Often, they don’t even know what they’ve done, but we can tell them. We need to tell them and invest in them."

I think one of my most heart-felt prayers at the moment is that we might live into these assertions at Luther Seminary.