Doves and serpents

Well, the Spirit moved at Pentecost among us.  We re-launched our ‘Casting the Net’ mission review initiative, and I realised as I was preaching that it might, actually, involve changes that I cannot envisage and have not initiated myself.  As a bit of a control freak, that disturbed me, though I should have known better.  And then in the evening, the reflective worship led by the Music Group touched me much deeper and in a different way – the fire resting in our hands and in a commissioning way.

And as usual, I’m tempted to contain the fire and systematise it.  The shape of the serpent is something I jotted down from an article about business and how to define a brand – FAME:

F-lag:  What do we stand for?  What ‘territory’ do we claim as our own?

A-ffinity:  What are the ideas and emotions that uniquely bind us together?

M-ethods:  What unique systems do we have?  How do things ‘work’?

E-xperience:  How does what we say square with what happens in real life?

It’s the sort of thing you could use to define a Church’s identity – its ‘brand’ – and even a congregation’s.  In Church-speak, you might call it defining its unique vocation.  Except it doesn’t really work like that – well, not all the time.  The Church is not a business, but can it make use of business tools?

As usual, I’m torn.  I want to set the Dove free and see it fly, and I also want to make sure the wind is in the right direction, and the feathers are preened, and the hunter is chained up.

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