I had the pleasure of taking Bill Kinnon and his wife Imbi out for lunch today. You can read all about their trip from Toronto HERE . He too is a blogger HERE . We met online, struck up a relationship, and engage one another now and then in discussions about the church, theology and spirituality. We share many similar experiences and have come to many of the same conclusions. It was an honor to me for them to call and ask if we could meet up on their way back to Toronto, and our two hours together in the restaurant flew by. There just wasn't enough time to get everything in. One of the things our conversation further convinced me of is the necessity of true community, true fellowship. We can only make sense of leadership, accountability, responsibility and care when we are actually in relationship with one another. If someone in our community is going through something, it is very difficult for others not to hear about it or see it or be involved in it somehow. When we are a fellowship of friends, things like compassion and care come more naturally. When we are a fellowship of friends, authenticity and accountability are more indigenous. When a community gets too big and relationships become more manufactured and managed, it often ends up the responsibility of a committee somewhere deciding how it is going to deal with that issue out there. Keep it small to keep it real. Another thing: I am still the pastor of these particular people. I will write tomorrow on what I went through this weekend that made me want to almost quit... or at least threw everything into question. I do have trouble with that nebulous identity called "the church", that fuzzy, indefinable, intangible thing. But, like my wife Lisa said to me Sunday night: you love and care for these people, and you are their pastor. They want you to be their pastor. So this ghostly "thing" you call "the church" that you are struggling over... GET OVER IT ALREADY! Ah, wise woman! The pic of that beautiful man is Bill. Imbi is beautifuller though.