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Martin Montgomery

"the expert worship leader is replaced by teams self publishing creative content."

I love that idea, the expert anything does my nut - I know there is place for leadership in Christianity, but in my experience it can be more disempowering than anything. It only focuses me on what I can't do, so the idea that I would create for myself is a brilliant and encouraging thing!

Martin Montgomery

"the expert worship leader is replaced by teams self publishing creative content."

I love that idea, the expert anything does my nut - I know there is place for leadership in Christianity, but in my experience it can be more disempowering than anything. It only focuses me on what I can't do, so the idea that I would create for myself is a brilliant and encouraging thing!

Ayres no graces

That's a really helpful article, jonny.

A few weeks ago Wikipedia was vandalised; someone edited pages to destroy the content. Wikipedia responded by locking down much of their content while they worked out how to be more secure without stifling their participative ethos.
Worship 2.0 might not have to worry about vandalism, but similar issues might be raised by behaviour or theology that pushes at the boundaries of what other members of the group are comfortable with. When this happens, we have a human tendency to lock things down and hold to old certainties. But the architecture of participation requires that we do the opposite, and open ourselves to new thinking and deep listening to divergent views. Such an architecture can probably only be called genuine when it’s been tested to the limit. Anyone can claim to be participative if they allow other people to do the things that they would do anyway; participation is only genuine when it involves a real transfer of power, and we do things that we would really rather not. I wonder which emerging communities have faced this kind of experience already?

The tension between participation and control becomes more fraught when you consider the place of emerging communities in a hierarchical church. The Mission-Shaped Church report gave a lot of permission to groups not to worry about hierarchical structures, but the CofE isn’t declaring ‘anything goes’ for alternative worship groups, especially after NOS. The current CofE is a hierarchical organisation which adheres to certain centrally defined (some would say biblical?) theological norms. Any creative, participative group is likely to run close to those norms, and risk being reined in at any time. That’s what happened to the liberation theology base communities that crossed the line drawn by the Vatican. For this to change, the church will need to take seriously Pete Rollins’ challenge to find unity in the event of revelation, rather than preserving an interpretation its content.

steve collins

when i first got involved in alt worship, i used to get asked how we'd deal with participants 'vandalising' our open forum. but it's never really happened [although the guy who danced in very short shorts came close, and mike would mention belinda carlisle... ;) ]

in hindsight it tells me more about the fears of people in hierarchical churches as to what their flocks would get up to if not carefully shepherded...

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  • jonny profile pic

    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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