Unified – Part Six: War & Centered Relational Dynamics. Today, Mike and Tim begin with a conversation about Ukraine and where we fit in. How are we to be peacemakers in this? What does that even mean? What does the Bible say about war? They then continue the series ‘Unified,’ and the dynamics of community in ‘Centered’ Churches (as first explored by Paul Hiebert, via Mark Baker).
- Security: Stuart Murray: “Churches with healthy centers are secure enough to welcome those who are exploring faith and searching for authenticity.”
- How the Bible is Used: Disintegrative shaming vs. reintegrative shaming – not all shaming is the same. Disintegrative shaming focuses on making an example of guilty offenders and ensuring they get what they deserve. It stigmatizes. Reintegrative shaming acknowledges that the social bond has been damaged and draws attention to the shameful action, but its goal is to heal relationships and reintegrate the offender to the group. Stigmatization is shaming the person rather than the behavior and treats the offender like an outcast.
- Membership: Bounded Church membership can contribute to anemic discipleship by communicating that if you meet certain requirements, you are “in,” even if you are solely a spectator. Bounded Churches tend to focus on certain requirements. How does membership point someone to Jesus? Centered Churches will highlight relational aspects over institutional ones through a sense of commitment to the body and others in the body. It will also feel like an invitation to join a mission. Membership must be described by using language of orientation to, alignment with, commitment to the center rather than the language of requirements and boundaries. Centered Church means we’re never finished or complete in our discipleship.
- Gracious Initiative: The ‘Center’ reaches out to people and doesn’t sit there passively waiting to be approached.
As always, we encourage and would love discussion as we pursue. Always feel free to email in questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and to engage the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.
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Music in this episode by Timothy John Stafford
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