Two heresies, two metaphors, and a gardener
Spencer Burke—Seminar—Friday March 12, 2004—7:00-9:00
Metaphors of Emergence or as I renamed it: two heresies, two metaphors, and a gardener
Anna italicized her thoughts, so if you read this and thought, hey, Spencer wouldn't say that, then look again because it was probably her response...
Learning: moving from teacher to facilitator. If learning is our desired outcome in our churches, then teaching is a part of it. In the next movement of where we’re going, then it will be more culturally appropriate. Teachers are a dime a dozen in an information age. What we need are information gatekeepers. To unpackage this, you move beyond the teacher as leader, and you move to a place of teachers a teacher. Instead of that, or to deconstruct this, you move to a place where you want a facilitator to help us learn. That person is helping you to learn. They are facilitating the ability for you to learn.
Excellence in a postmodern world is defined as a sense of authenticity. Excellence is being who you are and bringing all of who you are to what it is—not the performance of perfection.
This totally explains the phenomenon of William Huang. This dude is totally dorky, can’t sing, certainly can’t dance, but when he auditioned on American Idol and Simon told him he was terrible, he said something to the effect of “I have no professional training. I did my best. I have no regrets.” In a forum where most of the people ridiculed on American Idol argue and rant at the judges for not seeing how talented they are or being completely crushed by their sharp censure, he merely shrugged it off because it had no baring on him as a person. What happened? He gained a cult following complete with unsolicited fan websites and t-shirts popping up all over. This earned him a record deal. Can he suddenly sing? No. Did he learn how to dance? Did they give him a makeover? No, he’s not anything that anyone would think is cool, and yet he’s got all these fans. Why? Because he’s real.
Tour guide or fellow traveler? How are you running your church? Tour guides and fellow travelers exist in both the postmodern and the modern world. You can have postmodern tour guides.
Here’s a heresy that Spencer thinks he believes. He’s been playing with the idea of him as shepherd. He’s not sure we’re ever called as human beings to be shepherds. Peter was called to feed sheep. Have you ever seen a shepherd feed sheep? Who feeds the sheep? The mother sheep feed sheep. How did we become shepherds from that? There’s only one Good Shepherd and that’s Jesus Christ. There is no missing link between God and us; we don’t deserve the promotion to God. Does that mean we can’t be parent sheep? That we don’t know where the cool water is? No, but we are sheep following the Shepherd, and not shepherds. Yes, it may be a heresy, but it takes away the leap to spiritual expert that we often think of a pastor.