Thursday, September 02, 2010

Space : Interaction : Generations : 3

Two key implications for churches regarding public, social, personal and intimate space are these:

1 We need to nurture environments in which all four spheres can flourish – encouraging people to commit to and relate to others within all four spaces.

2 We need to resist the urge to force – or, strongly encourage – people to move from public to social to personal groupings. Instead, we must invite people to engage, and to create. Artificially engineering such groups will only result in groups that are not healthy enough to achieve what we hope for of them.

Moreover, 1a, the different challenges, the different obstacles and opportunities, created by the different ways in which the different generations relate to the different social spaces requires of us that our nurturing be flexible – some plants need a trellis up the wall, others a pot, others a south-facing aspect, or shade, or more lime or more clay in the soil...

...and, 2a, not every member of a given local church needs to express their public, social, personal and intimate belongings within or pulling-into that church community: that is a strategy that will result either in a church that is not engaging with the world on any level (self-contained) or a church whose intended engagement with the world implodes and burns up (centripetal).

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