Posted by: riverchilde | March 4, 2011

Where the storm meets the sky

My new obsession with interfaces, with the places where edges meet, is leading me down some uncomfortable roads. I recall what Gary Gunderson says in Boundary Leaders: Leadership Skills for People of Faith: “Boundary leadership focuses on what is outside, beyond, across, between; on the opportunities that arise at the thin membrane of juncture; on the moments where one way, one vision, one idea, one value meets another way, vision, idea, value. … Boundaries are where things come together, where the fields of relationship change” (p. 10).  I’m forced to acknowledge that while the place where boundaries meet is where the activity is, that activity isn’t always comfortable. In The Practice of Communicative Theology, Scharer and Hilberath speak of “an open, inviting form of communication that does not harmonize all differences but instead stakes out borders, which it respects” p. 82, in which “disturbances and perplexities have priority” (p. 156). Such guidelines lead to “a confrontational, conflict-laden theological encounter” (p. 150), which makes “living theological learning possible” (p. 153).

Doing “proactive ministry in a media world” isn’t just about learning the latest, greatest techniques for using this “brave new world” technology to tell the “old, old story.” Too often, that can just devolve into the idea of using the Internet to advance my church’s agenda (which too often lately sounds like “how will the pastor’s blog help us get new people into the pews?”). It’s about acknowledging that the dynamics of human relationships are the same, no matter what the medium in which they are expressed, and recognizing where and how this medium offers us new opportunities to enter into the unsettled waters where discord and brokenness is creating an opening for bringing forth something new, something that Christ might recognize as belonging to the Kingdom of God. In Scharer’s and Hiberath’s words: “…[O]nly those who trustingly let themselves become involve in the group’s interaction are able to experience the group as a gift-given We” (p. 95).

The question is, do I have the courage to jump into those waters? And do I have the courage to jump into those waters while bearing the Word?



  1. Could it maybe be that you’re also asking, can you rely on God in the midst of that leap?

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