Monday, April 5, 2004

Is Permanence a Value?

If we're serious about "organic community" and desconstructing institutionalism (the blind faith in institutions), is permanence a value?

I ask that because, in the aftermath of numerous house church experiments that I'm aware of shutting down, you have to wonder:
  • Did these house church experiments "fail" because they haven't achieved some sort of longevity (and what is the magic formula to determine this)?
  • Or were they successful, despite being short-lived, if they saw real, honest community that helped people discover what God had gifted and called them to do, and then encouraged them to follow God in those areas, even if it meant the house church would "lose" some cool people?
Once upon a yesteryear, there were about twelve of us worship pastors sitting on couches at a regional Vineyard gathering in Langley BC, and one of the speakers was talking about the longevity of the old hymns, and asking us why these hymns had held on till today. My response was "Because the church has an idolatrous obsession with anything from the 17th century?" (Note to self: That wasn't the answer he was looking for.)

It's somewhat an "apples and oranges" thing to try and compare worship songs and church plants, but the attitude can be the same: if we write a song or plant a church that people are still impressed with years later, we've done well. If it only lasts for a season (a song or a church), but has great impact during that season, is it really a "failure"?

When did "permanence" become a Kingdom value?

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