Monday, October 06, 2003

My internship congregation has this as one of their strategic plans, which I find appealing:

"Create a culture that fosters offerings of spiritual gifts."

Not to over-analyze it, but the way it is phrased is helpful. Often when we speak of the spiritual gifts, we get too much into how we are going to accomplish them, rather than seeing them as manifestations of the life of the Spirit in our midst, thus as gift. Creating a culture that fosters offerings of spiritual gifts simply means that the community will be open to the gifts that will inevitably come, that they will live in a culture that welcomes works of the spirit rather than works of the flesh.

the phrasing is also appreciated because, rather than taking an activist approach, like "we will manifest gifts of the spirit in our life together" or something legalistic like this, it waits hopefully and expectantly. It has an eschatoligical dimension, and puts the church in its proper place, as a community that is about the business of Hospitality (one can here see parallels with the visit of the three angels (Trinity) to Abraham).

Not to mention that it opens up space for gifts coming from all kinds of directions.

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