Sunday, March 2, 2008

An article from my turning point

Hello all,

Adam invited me to participate in this blog as well, but I just don't have much worth sharing right now. I do, however, want to share this article that I found about 5 years ago that really helped me to articulate what I was going through. Maybe it could be helpful to someone else today.

http://www.theofframp.org/Detox.html

zride17

3 comments:

Arizona Bam said...

Zac!

Thanks for posting this, brother. I apologize for my absence around the site here lately... still trying to catch up on life after being out of town last weekend.

I plan to give some more thoughtful comments when I've had a chance to read through everything.

I'm loving the conversations so far though. Let's keep moving forward!

Peace,

Adam

Arizona Bam said...

Alrighty, I've gotten through Zahariades's article... good read!

It raises a lot of strong points and many which are sure to stir some controversy in most conversations:

"In order to BE the church, we need to leave the church."

Obviously, he chose a wording that would jump out at most believers, but what do you (Zac or anybody else) think of this statement?

I see the point that he's driving at, and I can certainly relate personally (having not attended an institutional church for almost two years), yet some (perhaps idealistic) part of me wonders if that statement abandons a necessary hope for the transformation of many existing churches in the western world. Oftentimes I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the issues and think that a mass exodus would be a helpful "reset," but the rest of the time I hold a hope for the established "communities" and the opportunities that the establishment provides.

Moving From Being Churched To Being The Church

This line really ties it all up for me. This concept is generally the basis of most of my questions, reservations, challenges, hopes, etc. From my view, it envelopes the admirable aspect of the emerging church movement. And I'm looking forward to moving down this pathway with everybody.

---
Zac, I'd be interested in hearing more from you on what you personally took away from this article, and how it has informed your decisions/perspectives since first reading it (if you'd care to share this DEEPLY PERSONAL info;-)...

zride17 said...

One of the toughest parts about this article was the idea of everyone BEING the church, instead of just being churched. I'd spent most of my adolescence and young adulthood on a path to become a leader and cog in the big church machine. I'm not sure if I viewed it this way, but I wanted to be a big part of helping to "church" people.

The people that I respected in the church were typically staff members of the church. There was something different about them. They always talked about being "called" into the ministry. It made sense to me. I couldn't imagine a minister who wasn't "called" to leave the pursuit for riches and a secular career to be a full time vocational minister. After all, that seemed to be the greatest of the "alter call" decisions that were offered to me at each retreat or camp. I wanted to be called like that. Maybe I was called like that. I'm not sure. I totally believed that God would rather have me working for him at a church that at some sort of secular career.

Around the time that I read this article, I started to view my role as a minister differently. I saw myself as someone who enabled slothfullness in the church where I worked. The harder that I worked, the less that the rest of the members of the church would need to. After all, they brought me in to be the youth pastor because of all the work that needed to be done. I just assumed that there was no way that the members of the church could do this on their own. They needed a hired gun. To be fair, maybe they did need someone to come in a do the things that they wanted to do. Perhaps the things that they wanted to do were just not the right things.

It got to the point where I kept wanting to delegate everything to everyone. I was trying to work myself out of a job. If I'm "called" to do something, then I should be willing to do it whether I'm paid or not. I think that we can all be a church and derive our income from other places.

Once I got to that spot, I was burdened to stop churching people, and start being the church. Unfortunately, the second part of that is more difficult than I thought it would be. Geographical proximity has hurt most of my efforts to begin some sort of organic house church thing. Either that, or I've never loved my neighbors enough to push for something like this with them.

This verbal diareha needs to stop. Thanks for letting me vent a little bit.