Blueprint Church

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It seems to be the tendancy of the modern world to explore things from a rational point of view. We start with a theory and then try to translate that into practice. When something is not working we theorise about it, and then come up with a great theoretical model and try to put it into action.

We see this I think all to often with church. We experience something about church that isn't working, so we think, read, talk, discuss, idealise, blog and suggest endlessly what church should be, and give our new dream forms of chuch names, and categorise them, and then get stuck in them ever taking form as a concrete reality.

Having an ideal model for church allows us to talk about the possibilities of church, and conceptualise it. We can propose a new model of church for our situation, we can suggest refoms of church that would address the problems of existing church. But then day to day church remains a hope and reality that seems to fail to materialise in the real world.

It's almost as if there are two natures of church, the one we long and hope for, and the reality of everyday church. We even have language for that process in church history. There is the 'spiritual', or 'heavenly church', and then the church full of people who may of may not be part of the heavenly church. There are those people in the 'modern church', and those really doing church in the 'new forms' of church we talk about.

We continue to take our theology and thinking and propose new theories of trinitarian, networked, hubbed, nodal, dispersed, etc church. We continue to take a notion, a metaphor and theorise that church could make use of that model. And so often it still fails to do that at all, and we move onto the next theory. We then get depressed, cynical, and even more pathological definging church as another dream of all the things we don't want it to be, as much as the things we want it to be. I just want to be part of a 'real church' we might cry out in exasperation. When maybe we have been part of very real churches already.

I think it's why I have been part of and experienced well meaning groups that know and articulate what church should be, yet do very little, whilst some churches that should know better seem to, in their daily life be full of more mission, and community witness to Jesus despite that.