I find it fascinating that some of my more active posts in terms of comments come when I make statements or raise questions about committees and/or administrative concerns. Remember the transfer letter post? There are still people who make comments over at the Catching Meddlers site on that one.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this.
I will say this. There are times when my desire to reach folks who are not in the church comes into conflict with my personal comfort within our particular system or way of doing church.
This reminds me of Wesley’s comments on field preaching. He reached a point where his personal preferences came into conflict with his passion for sharing the gospel. In his journal, Wesley wrote,
I could scarcely reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday; I had been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.
What is that for us? When do we reach the point, like Wesley, that we “submit to be more vile” in order to share the gospel? Is our polity (and practice) framed by our mission or is it sometimes the other way around?
Update: Here are some interesting practical questions along the same lines from Andrew over at Thoughts of Resurrection. He’s busy thinking about issues with a virtual campus as it relates to the Book of Discipline. This is a great example of how to begin wrestling with polity and mission without denying either.