Long ago, I was known to post frequently on the importance of churches having blogger/historians/journalers, who post stories and reflections on their church community’s journey along the road of becoming authentic church. (I take this name in italics from an emphasis of the past 2 or 3 years amongst the Church of the Saviour communizes, and a booklet they have written (which you can find under my Church of the Saviour tab on this blog. The other book available under this same tab is the fourth of a series of history books written by Elizabeth O’Connor, which is both an update to the first three and some review of what is in those first three.
Within these writings there are stories rich with struggle and discernment on what it is that is different about the kind of people God has called apart to BE the church in a given time, a given locale, and amongst given problems where systems of the empire that is the United States have trampled over lives and pushed people into those “forgotten places of empire” (a phrase coined by the movement of New Monasticism). The Church of the Saviour itself has been characterized as a “monastic community” in many instances. But in the majority of those cases, such a characterization, though it may well be true in many ways, strikes me as a way for those making this characterization to distance themselves from the kind of community many of the Church of the Saviour represent, and “admire” them as a radical departure that is , in the end, “not for everybody”. I can’t help but see this as a symptom of the tendency for “wanna be radicals” to live vicarious “monastic” lives. (And who am I to talk? I seem to have retreated into a state of despair about finding any place or any people who have any of the sensibilities for church, accountability, inward journey, mission, etc. that I have come to regard as “crucial” and “defining” for ANY church community that wants to seriously live in another culture that is defined by Kingdom values rather than American/Western cultural values.
And wherever that exists, the stories of that people NEED TO BE TOLD. And here is where I return to the potential role of blogs and various other Web 2.0 resources. For someone like me, seeking a church that gives a rip about who I am, where I am, and what call may be rattling around within me in need of those who would evoke my own gifts which would enable me to begin to answer that call, I NEED TO HAVE HELP FINDING SUCH A COMMUNITY. I often look and search on a Saturday night, knowing that the odds are great that I will spend another Sunday morning feeling tired and worn out just from the yearning for it. But what are the KEY keywords to use, and will there be any content under those even if I found the most accurate combination. What of “tags”? We need some “Elizabeth O’Connor” type gifts in bloggers who offer this as a way to help seekers like me to find where similar/kindred concerns are being explored.