Discerning Mission

Listening, leadership, ethnography

Dori Baker reflects on the benefits of an "ethnography of hope" at the Alban blog. She quotes Thomas E. Frank, a seasoned observer of church life, noting that he "writes about turning to ethnographic practices of listening as a way to escape what he perceived to be market-driven perspectives prevalent in church-improvement literature. He found most of that writing to be largely prescriptive, tending to depict a congregation 'as a franchise in a service industry, completely missing the remarkable imaginative

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The political novelty of God

I can't resist this quote from John Howard Yoder, which is cited in David Fitch's blog on mission and ecclesiology:

The political novelty that God brings into the world is a community of those who serve instead of ruling, who suffer instead of inflicting suffering, whose fellowship crosses social lines instead of reinforcing them. The new Christian community in which the walls are broken down not by human idealism or democratic legalism but by the work of Christ is not only a vehicle of the gospel

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Andrew Walls on the risks of becoming a "caste" in a plural society

Here's a fascinating and brief glimpse of Andrew Walls:

 

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Should numbers count?

Festival of Homiletics - photo by LutherSeminary

One of the terms from the Luther Seminary "insider language" book that used to be bug me a lot was when people would start their description of their church by saying something like "we worship 200 on Sunday." I would immediately wonder: 200 what? Who are you worshiping?

Eventually I began to understand what people meant by that phrase, or perhaps just got more inured to it. In any case, the issue of "numbers" continues to fascinate pastoral leaders. Consider this post, for instance, where James

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What blogs do you read?

We're working on compiling a list of blogs to keep an eye on, and we'd like to include the blogs you read regularly, particularly blogs by Luther CML grads.

Check out Pr. Rob Moss' blog (at left), for instance.

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