Thursday, May 18, 2006

Life-cycles


What came first: the chicken, or the egg?

It’s not a trick question. In order to have both chickens and eggs, you need to have both chickens and eggs. What came first is a matter of both context – the existence of any given chicken assumes the pre-existence of a given egg; the existence of any given egg assumes the pre-existence of a given chicken – and perspective – if what I am looking for is chicken for my tea, the egg came first; if what I am looking for is egg for my breakfast, the chicken came first.

What comes first: church, or mission?

What comes first: church activities, or missional activity?

Should the expressed form of the local church determine the expressed form of her mission, or vice versa?

The overwhelming paradigm in the UK is that the egg of mission is laid by the chicken of the church (or the para-church). And I do believe that mission can flow from the local church (though I sometimes wonder whether some of those chickens trying to lay eggs aren’t, in fact, cockerels). But, given both my context and my perspective, I want to foster the other side of the life-cycle: eggs of mission giving birth to chickens of the local church – churches that start out as chicks, and aren’t force-fed to premature maturity.


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