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As part of my study on the Japanese house church movement (http://www.scribd.com/doc/35946947/What-is-the-nature-of-leadership-in-the-Japanese-House-Churches) I looked at the British House Church Movement and a few other similar movements since then, and in particular about the issue of mainstreaming. I think you're right that the BHCM didn't necessarily have small, reproducible structures built in, but I think another, bigger issue is that it was a victim of its own success, and I think this is a consideration for the organic church movement too: dynamic movements are very, very hard to sustain because there's a very human tendency towards structure and organization, particularly when these movements grow. Max Weber wrote about what he called the "routinization of charisma" - when charismatic, visionary leadership gets replaced several generations down the line by, well, managers. Because, for one thing, not everyone sees themself as a visionary leader, and management is an awful lot easier. And it's all done out of good intentions. This is exactly what happened to the BHCM, and I can see it happening to the organic church movement to. The temptation is there to add layers of oversight, (hey, accountability is good, right?) training (we do conference already, why don't we open a training center?) and bureaucracy until the movement stops being a movement. My worry is that I don't really see anyone taking this seriously. "But we're living out authentic Christianity." Well yes, you are. But look what happened to, let's face it, every single Christian movement so far throughout two thousand years of history. And every single one of those thought they were restoring the pattern of the NT church too. And in a way they were, because the NT church very quickly systematized too. You have to fight hard and continuously to avoid the negative effects of mainstreaming, and to be honest I am not sure you ever really can. But there's an opportunity in this, because God tends to bring along new dynamic movements of His Spirit once institutionalisation sets in. So I will proudly look forward to the "next new thing" and the "next new thing" after that, because I always want to see where God is doing something new.
Wow. Gorgeous. You might also like http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/ which is a grander project to illuminate the whole Bible. I have their edition of the Gospels - it is beautiful.
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2010 on Fujimura - 4 Holy Gospels on Vimeo at soupablog
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Jun 17, 2010