While there has been some robust discussion/debate on the benefits/drawbacks of twittering during church gatherings, along with some mainstream press, I find that this has not really been a relevant issue for our little community.  Only a couple of us use the Twitter and, out of that handful of people, I am probably the most actively engaged.  I must confess, I like gadgets (even if I can’t purchase them), but my interest in Twitter goes beyond fascination with shiny new toys.

This Time article, How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live, contains one insight in particular that I believe speaks volumes to those of us who believe church is a movement, not a monument; that it’s the people, not the buildings. End-user innovation in the Twitterverse is innovation:

in which consumers actively modify a product to adapt it to their needs. In its short life, Twitter has been a hothouse of end-user innovation: the hashtag; searching; its 11,000 third-party applications; all those creative new uses of Twitter — some of them banal, some of them spam and some of them sublime. Think about the community invention of the @ reply. It took a service that was essentially a series of isolated microbroadcasts, each individual tweet an island, and turned Twitter into a truly conversational medium. All of these adoptions create new kinds of value in the wider economy, and none of them actually originated at Twitter HQ. You don’t need patents or Ph.D.s to build on this kind of platform.

What would church look like if it were more like a workshop, where people could create, build and tinker with God-given hopes & dreams?  Or maybe like an artists’ collective, where we could find space to innovate, collaborate and refine one another’s work?

Like Twitter, church could become a hothouse for ideas, providing a platform from which Christ-followers could innovate.  Instead of saying, “Sign up and do your part in fulfilling the vision of this church” we’d offer the invitation, “Come and awaken to the dreams God has for your life. Discover how, together, we can become a movement of redemption for the sake of the world.”

I’m not interested in fulfilling someone else’s “vision” — I believe God has dreams for each one of us.  I’m not interested in building a church where only one person gets to dream and everyone else is supposed to support/build that dream. It’s extremely arrogant to think that one person could contain the dreams that God has for an entire community of people, no matter how great that leader or vision might be.

This process is certain to be messy.  It will be difficult to measure.  But I’d rather live out open-ended adventures, rather than trying to meet predetermined goals. Maybe we’ll succeed and create things no one had even dreamed of before, or maybe we’ll fail gloriously while trying. Our great hope, in the midst of all uncertainty, is that we serve a God who holds all things together.

That’s the beauty of church to me: that a diverse group of people can come together because of Jesus and see how God knits together all of the hopes and plans He has for each of us.  You don’t need advanced degrees or expert knowledge; just a willingness to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.

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