Cheers-log 2006-06 consuming?


 June 2006

Here’s a quandary. Cheers 24. How do we enable people to contribute to it like mature people, rather than “consuming” it like consumers?

We want to teach our kids, and others, where and how we find these Kingdom of God / community principles. And since we’re trying to teach kids, and families with no confidence in learning from the Bible, we have to make it pretty accessible, interactive & active. This education factor fits into our core practices under “EDUCATE,” but the core practice is “Educate ourselves!”  We want people to learn to learn for themselves, rather than outsource learning to the “program.” Yet people keep outsourcing to it as long as the program is there. So do we axe it? But then what if that’s the only teaching they’re getting right now? And we still need to teach our kids.

On one hand, we don’t want them to outsource to us, otherwise they’ll never mature into self-starting followers of Jesus.

On the other hand, we can see that maybe Jesus did allow for a lot of outsourcing. Maybe he knew most people aren’t self-starters and need to meet together, in order to learn at all. Well we can live with that – we love the togetherness & inter-dependency. But not so much the dependency.

The quandary is, how do we enable them to grow for themselves? I mean consumerism is so self-defeating that way: you want something, so you outsource your initiative to the supplier, and in so doing atrophe your own ability to do that very thing you want! In this case, the initiative to be mature disciples.

So how did Jesus engender mature core practices?

Certainly it wasn’t be making the practices a rule. The disciples came to want to do them. They wanted to notice where God was, they wanted to pray to him, they wanted to learn, they wanted to be-friend, they wanted to serve, they wanted to tell people about what they had – they wanted to share the Life they had. That was part of the Life they had.

Maybe that’s the thing about Jesus sharing life – they needed whole-of-life interaction with the Life, not just know-how.

I can see that Jesus discipled the disciples in 3 ways:

o    the first 30 years of relationship;

o    the next 3 or so years of know-how, up-close; and then

o    the post-Pentecost phase of Spirit-empowerment.

So disciples learnt from Jesus not just by getting know-how, but they got the know-how in a relationship context, and by being empowered by His Spirit in them.

Maybe that’s a key to it. We need to spend more time eating with them, letting them see us in life, including them in the conversations, praying with them… – and we’ve just described Cheers 13 again. Because that’s the regular time when Sal & I look for what God’s doing, pray about the stuff, and plan our action.

Maybe we’ve got to work harder at joining them into our own core processes that we do at Cheers 13. Till they can do their own Cheers 13.

Thanks for bearing with me in thinking aloud. If you have any thoughts for us, geoff.westlake@oac.org.au

Love,

Geoff.

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