Friday, 6 December 2013

of the fallibility of the church

In the new year, one of my key goals is to finally write the story of The Esther Project, the alternative church community experiment I facilitated from 2009 to 2010.

As I prepare to do so, and reflect on the elements of the story I wish to highlight, the way I want to frame the story, I have encountered some thoughts from Steve Taylor, a fellow alternative church pioneer.

Steve reflects on the idea that 'the church has erred,' and the question it poses for alternative church expressions. Will we acknowledge that the church has erred, and that we, too, will likely err in our expressions of Christian community? Or will we separate ourselves from the fallibility of the church in a somewhat arrogant 'search for purity'?

That The Esther Project lasted two years only is not necessarily a failure or an 'erring'. It's short life is, however, due to the fallibility of both church and humans. There are 'successes' within the story to celebrate. There is much to learn, especially for the Uniting Church in Australia, my own tradition, which is wrestling with the concept of 'fresh expressions' of church, but has not, in my opinion, yet understood how to effectively implement the idea, actively encourage alternative expressions of church even though many may well not take root, or adequately support pioneer leaders.

It is a story that needs telling, our story of The Esther Project. And I am excited to be entering a season in which I am finally ready and able to tell it.

It is, however, another creative pursuit that won't supplement my part time stipend, so if you wish to and are able to support the telling of this story, please follow this link.

And, for the story - watch this space.


1 comment:

Michaela Tiller said...

This is a story that needs to be told and one in which there are many learnings for 'the church'. However, it will be interesting to see whether 'the church' is able to genuinely learn from The Esther Project. The church is human and fallible and therefore will err; and many fresh expressions will inevitably fail to take root. We have a responsibility to learn from the past, which requires an openness to hear not just the 'successes' and continue listening even when there is no celebration or 'happy ending'.