Archive for the ‘Authority’ Category

This is my story; this is my song

June 2, 2008

If there is one thing that points toward emergence in churches of Christ (among other groups of Christians) it is that there are an increasing number of storytellers – alterantive storytellers. The proliferation of story tellers within the churches of Christ is quite, well, telling. The days of the ministers, elders and perhaps the deacons as the owners of the known Restoration story are in their waning stages. Even though these voice still hold the most authority over the Restoration story, they no longer own it all.

Minority voices such as female voices, charasmatic voices, democrat voices, ecumenical voices, critical voices are now all telling a story within the Restoration Movement. There are small clusters of people in churches of Christ swapping stories and building stories outside the privileged means of commuication – primarily the sermon. The sermon is losing its sole propietorship on storytelling. The mens’ business meeting and elders meetings are being de-centered in their prominence for decision making that occurs in the churches of Christ.

Emergence in churches of Christ can be measured by the stories being told and the status of the storytellers permitted to speak. If only a few men at the top of the hierarchy make all the decisions, determine what is true, and control Biblical interpretation, then there is likely little room for the often fragile voices to speak, to emerge. Rather, if there is room for the formerly muted voices to take risks and speak, and make mistakes, and make progress – emergent voices can fill the story capacity of the church.

Spreading out the “author|ity” in churches such that more people can author stories and author songs is a sign of emergence. Such things are happening, sometimes under the radar, in 1000’s of churches of Christ in America.

Any signs of emergence in your church of Christ?