I take no credit or praise for my community. Any credit or praise belongs to the community itself. I have built nothing. I have constructed nothing. I have succeeded in doing nothing. I have grown nothing. In fact, I make it my purpose to not build anything with these people. What I have around me is a community of people who willingly and voluntarily desire to be in relationship with each other and to gather together. Ephesians 4: 3 says to "keep the unity of the Spirit". Unity, or community, is not something we have to build, but keep. I therefore see my primary task as preventing obstacles and barriers from interfering in this reality. I'm a weeder. When I think of it, my activity as a pastor is negative, as non-activity. It is to prevent interference, remove obstacles, clear impediments and reject deterrents to unity and community. It is so popular now to have the excessive baggage of plans, visions, goals, renewal, and programmed growth, that true authenticity and true community is difficult if not impossible. What I try to nurture is an environment free of restrictions to the unity that is already ours. This means free people gathering freely in the reality of freedom. Why complicate it? I am confident that as the weeds are kept at bay, fruit will grow in individuals and in the community. But this is not my doing. We could go further with the analogy to say that good teaching and life experience is fertilizer, but I wanted to try to communicate what my strategy is for pastoring a healthy community. It is anti-strategy. It is to not include, assimilate or integrate strategies to create, erect, build or grow something. It is free, I hope, of my ambitions, goals, visions or desires for these people and this community. My only desire is for them to be free, and free to experience the unity that is theirs. And in that freedom is their possibility for a fruitful life. This is not radical. It is anti-radical. Perhaps you can see this? It is difficult to articulate.

Leave a comment