This is important to remember, because some of what we talk about could be on the agenda of superheroes: fighting injustice, confronting evil, imaging God on planet earth, doing away with poverty, replacing chaos with shalom, and so forth.
Heady stuff. It would take super powers to do this on our own. But despite my occasional wish to have laser fingers (wouldn’t that be cool?! I mean . . . lasers shooting out of your fingers!) neither I or nor anyone I know has them. We are quite ordinary. Which is why, I think, God put us onto teams. Into a Team. The Church. Each of us does some things well, while at the same time we do some things poorly.
It would be nice to think that we would collaborate together simply out of a noble desire to bear the image of the Trinity — a dance of collaboration and intimacy and passion and energy — but realistically, we collaborate because we need each other. Even with these needs, it is astonishing how independent-minded we are — churches acting independently of other churches, individuals acting independently of their churches, and mission agencies acting independently of local church partners.
I am writing this while I am at “The Gathering 2015“, the Assembly of churches that are a part of Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC). Sometimes I half-jokingly say that the Baptist movement kicked off in our world when The Reformation got wildly out of control. 🙂 Rather than seeking to tweak (reform) the existing church, our forefathers came up with the then revolutionary idea that a group of Jesus-followers could gather as one and as a people discern the mind of God. We’ve tamed that thought into bylaws and procedures that codify congregational governance, but at the heart of our governance documents is still this revolutionary thought.
Over these next days, 300+ people drawn from the 170 churches of CBWC will celebrate together, challenge one another, cross-fertilize, and practice a bit of that revolutionary idea by asking “what is the mind of God in this?”
We’re not superheroes. But this is still heady stuff.