And while I’m on about it, I’m going to mention again — in case anyone didn’t read when I mentioned it earlier — Bill Kinnon’s polemic, “The People formerly known as The Congregation.” It’s that good, and it’s getting some well-deserved attention in the blogosphere. The original post has been updated with links to some of the discussion elsewhere as well as further reading on the subject. Of the many links, I’m just going to highlight the one by Bill’s son… it’s a strong reminder that there are some real, hurting people to be found in the wake of carnage left by some expressions of church.
The meme I started about ten days ago or so looking for under-recognized missional bloggers has slowed but is still trickling along out in the wild. If you follow the links in the comments on the original post and then poke around at the list that’s circulating (there are variations of it now), you should be able to find at least 40 or 50 blogs discussing missional topics. At first, I saw a bunch of names I already knew (at at times on the list there some I thought were well-known), but as it spread, there began to be more bloggers listed that I was unfamiliar with, and I’ve been slowly getting around some of those blogs, finding out what’s happening or being talked about at some of the missional fringes around the world. Primary objective accomplished ;^) …and I hope many of these blogs will have seen a traffic spike as well.
One of the blogs I’ve visited is a new one called The Well, a church community in Albuquerque. The thing that first caught my eye was “The Story of The Well” in the sidebar, because it does such a good job of communicating a vital concept. People like me are quick to say, “Oh, they’re talking about ‘bounded sets’ vs. ‘centered sets;’ you see, with centered sets…” But here I cut myself short, because I like their word picture much better:
A farmer raises sheep. He has two ways to keep them in his pastures. The first option is to build a fence. This will keep his sheep inside, near home, and it will keep other animals out. His sheep are protected from all outside influences.
The second option is to dig a well. Yes, all of the animals in the region will water there, but the sheep will stay close.
People are rather like sheep–and our churches are rather like fenced pastures. But the Man we claim to follow, Jesus, claimed to be a spring of “living water”. I believe Jesus is a well. He doesn’t place fences around his believers, nor does he keep others at arm’s length. Instead, he welcomes everyone to drink freely.
I love a well-named site, and another blog I’ve taken note of is the best-named blog I’ve discovered in a long time: Songs of Unforgetting by “Kay,” a self-described “contemplative panentheist.” Her domain name, when you parse it, is “The River Lethe,” and that puzzled me until I read about her blog, where she explains everything by quoting Classical Greek mythology and Thomas Moore. Better than Styx: I loved it.
Still with new blogs, I started seeing Julie Clawson‘s name popping up everywhere, starting with the under-appreciated missional bloggers list. She’s also participating in the Via Crucis 2007 Grid Blog, and turned in a thoughtful post on Eucharist the other day. Surfing around her blog meant I also found her husband Mike’s blog, which I had found before and lost track of, so I was quite glad to re-locate it. Two insightful bloggers under one roof, it seems. On the subject of names, I once had a banker named Arwen, but it seems Mike and Julie have a daughter whose middle name is Eowyn.