It isn’t often that life fits into perfectly-sized well-marked boxes, and the artistry of music and ministry is no different. In traditional Christian circles, the common leadership categories of “worship leader,” “music director,” or “performer” evoke specific ideas of what these roles should engender, often without thinking,
This is not just an attempt to be alternative without a cause. Rather, it is a subversive effort to dig deep into the roots of worship in a way that stirs up the nutrients in the soil; soil which so often seems deplete of a clear sense of mission, beauty, and realism; as if the great tree that is the Church has somehow found itself planted in a container instead of the ground, not realizing the true breadth and depth that the earth has to offer.We do the work of ministry in that gritty place – chipping away at the terra cotta until the roots can burst forth and find new vitality in deep fresh soil.
Commons (n): Land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community
We are among those who feel a collective sense of dis-ease with the stream of Christianity. Churches have become closed off and privatized. Doors have been locked and bylaws have been passed to create an exclusive space. Prophetic voices are needed who seek to reopen the commons – the theatre in which community grows where the whole of the community has rights of access. We want to voice the contradictions. We want to create space where the externalities are revealed and the shared life becomes a reflection of the true community with all of its messiness. Generations of exclusion have created a false narrative. It is time to let that narrative decompose so that new life can begin to grow from the soil.
And so we are sent into smaller, authentic faith communities with the goal of creating worship experiences that reflect the beauty and messiness of this type of new commons. We create worship experiences that are inseparable from the work of mission, social justice, and radical grace. We’re opening up space that both welcomes all and propels all into service and acts of neighborliness in all corners of our community.
In the words of a trusted friend, it’s time to stop telling one another to take care – instead, take risks.
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