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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Language

I have been living with the Healthy Congregation model for more than five years now. Congregations where there have been CPI conversations have seen the model and have begun to use its language. It takes some time for this language to be spoken; it takes longer for it to be understood; it takes even longer to internalize it.

I do understand Carman’s question: what was I thinking when I expressed this goal? Deploy the Healthy Congregation model in every CEM congregation!

I’m not sure if ten years will be enough to accomplish this one either. But having lived with it for five years, I do acknowledge that it is useful and I’m beginning to internalize its concepts. Elements of the Healthy Congregation model spring readily to my mind on lots of occasions, in lots of differing situations. It’s starting to be really helpful to me when some of the typical questions are posed, or when I want to explain what I mean.

I recently read an Interview with a Street Preacher here and was struck by this comment he made:
Jesus went to seek and save the lost, and I don't see him passing out flyers for the upper room meeting but healing, preaching, and ministering where people were. Many pray for seats to be filled by incoming sinners, while I often pray for them to be emptied by the outgoing saints.

Right there in that short paragraph I see elements of the three kinds of ministry the HC Model refers to! I think of the people, the saints gathered together in those seats, in that upper room. I imagine the going out in service to find the lost in the community in response to Jesus’ message, and I feel the invitation to be part of these ministries—the work of the healthy congregation.

All these ministries are part of the tradition, the foundation built on an understanding of God’s generous grace and in response to a great need in the world for the overarching values of peace, reconciliation and healing of the Spirit. Too often we imagine the “church” as living inside that box, that one in the middle of the drawing. But if there is a true Spirit there, we feel its pull—or its push—outside the box and into the world. That’s one message I get from this Model. There will be others. You may recognize others yourself.

What is your experience in hearing, understanding, internalizing the language of the Healthy Congregation Model?
(Posted by Marion)

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