Monday, May 05, 2008

Church Council Night

I am sorry not to have blogged much last week. It was one of those weeks and I needed more time to work on the next in the current series on Paul. I will try to catch up.

I have a Church Council meeting tonight. One day I will learn to love them. But the truth is I don't. Church Council meetings make everyone formal and tense and not in a good way. Not here especially, just anywhere you use this model of Church governance. As the local elections in England last week illustrate all too well, a Council is a place where you have different sides, parties, and arguments. All great fun, of course, but not, in my humble opinion, the best way to run even a city, let alone a Church.

The epistle reading for the coming Sunday reminds us that we are the body of Christ. A metaphor of intimacy and inter-connectedness. You inflict pain on your body at peril. On the contrary, you nurture and care for it and avoid strife and conflict and anything that would harm it. Surely a better way to run a Church than the way of secular politics? But the Church has always followed secular models of government - to its own great cost.

The Biblical images of the Church, apart from 'body', are ones such as 'family' and the 'temple of God'. Apart from anything else, they somehow seem much friendlier and nicer than images drawn from the world of confrontational politics. I would much rather prefer, at a Council meeting, to be addressed as a brother, or if you will, as a father, or friend than as Chairman. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, but even more, beware of Christians honouring you with titles!

I will let you know how it goes!

Thank you for patience.

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