Struck when reading something yesterday about the difference between network-based churches and neighbourhood-based churches.
While we often talk about our locality and God moving within it, in reality the circles in which we regularly move are NOT geographically bound. Particularly because of the virtual environment, but also due to displaced family and friends, the most influential people in our lives are NOT necessarily the closest geographically. We need to be open, when thinking about the type of community we inhabit, to network spaces as well as geographic spaces. People we connect with because of work, because of leisure pursuits, because of our internet habits.
I was struck by Jonny Baker’s information that the printing press would not have been invented had Gutenberg not been interested in wine-making. I think it may have come from Stephen Johnson’s book ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’. It is just the need for creatively, spiritually ‘following your nose’ or the ‘maker of noses’ (cf. Rick Mullins) that will encourage change and growth, life and reconciliation. Do read Jonny Baker’s posts on ‘riffing on newness’. Jonny moves within the Grace ‘fresh expression’ community in London and works with the Church Missionary Society, I believe. He has written extensively on alternative worship and has some great photography on his blog as well.
Reading his posts on ‘riffing on newness makes me think that we all need each other; breaking away and breaking off from others is always painful and tragic. It wounds. We’re looking for healing, aren’t we, not more sores to lick?