The things that bring me the most joy are those which I’ve had the least to do with: marriage, children, health, cheese, and the creativity of our church. I used to read books and attend seminars and plot and scheme about how to make church a place of the many rather than the few, but my direct effort did little to bring the magic.
Now we’ve got it, and I’m not exactly sure how. People– mostly pastors looking for something more– ask me about it regularly, and I’ sure my answers are unsatisfying. I say squishy things like ‘relationships.’ I say oblique things like ‘autonomy.’ I say counterintuitive things like ‘create a vacuum.’ I say ridiculous things like ‘evade leadership.’ And I say difficult things like ‘suffering pain.’ But I have no blueprint for this, only a profound thankfulness that it happens, and that so many people contribute to it and benefit from it.
In all of this, there is a sense in which it seems to have taken forever to come, and a sense in which I can’t believe it happened so fast. Thanks be to God.