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i'm becoming aware of how much i dislike using the word "die" or "death" when talking about faith communities. as a christian we know there's more to death than just an ending, we speak of ressurection and rebirth.

and as such i like to think of faith communities as catterpillars and butterflies and cocoons, when the Other Late Late Service in Adelaide ceased to worship together on a weekly basis we didnt "die" we morphed, we rebirthed, we changed and perhaps we ressurected... we changed form, we mostly keep in touch and know whats going on, for many of us we're doing weird church things as we've done for ages but the sense of community has changed.

one of the real questions for me when we speak of the death of a faith community or emerging church is "what do you mean by death?"

another question is "is death a bad thing?" or "why do we fear death?" it seems that the fear of death is almost identical to that of the traditional church structure that doesn't want to give death, rebirth and ressurection a chance until the "rainy weather money" has all but dried up.

i think that emerging churches should embrace death and ressurection and rebirth regularly, i wonder what would have happened if the TOLLS community died and rebirthed 3 times in it's 10 year lifespan, would we have ended up with a number of similar communitys or would we have ressurected into one community fairly similar to that which we started as?

seems those people who are afraid of death, especially those in emerging churches are simply becomming like those people in traditional church structures...

i once had a conversation with a mission worker in south australia. he said that churhes that last for 3 years are projects, not churches, my argument is that i doubt that many churches could last more than 3 years structurally without a major change. i'm happy for a church to last for 3 years, and still call it a church, to call it a project (and name it as a failure) is using traditional language to define what a church is.

rant over :)

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    i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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