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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Table Work

One of the reasons I like the prairie "table" idea, (although I also like prairie "fire" and prairie "hearth," but those seem a bit nebulous sometimes), is because "table" is always about relationships when it comes to God. You can try to put things like "success," "accomplishment," "effectiveness," and "accountability" into your ministry or faith journey, but you always seem to be swimming upstream that way...

Now I know that the New Testament writings, and some of the historical books of the Old Testament are not opposed to such ecclesiastical measurements. Numbers seem to matter in the Book of Acts. Accomplishment is celebrated throughout the Book of Judges. Accountability seems like a big deal in the Apocalypse of John. But why is it when you try to organize ministry or a faith journey around things like "accomplishment" it becomes such a frustrating venture? On the other hand, praying at the bedside of a dying friend carries enough energy to bring you out of the abyss?

The prairie "table" idea speaks to this a bit...

Ministry, like eating, has to be done all the time. I remember when learning Greek how Homer had this phrase about being a "slave to the belly," and it seemed like he wrote it at least once on every page. Every time Odesseyus wanted to do something, he first had to have a meal. Stuff just keep repeating itself, and you're never done with "Eating" any more than you are ever done with "ministry," or with your "faith...."

We gather at table all the time because there is no end in sight for these journeys. The purpose of the table is not to be there "once for all," but to be there for life everlasting. Most days we find ourselves wondering where tomorrow may lead, and the table around which we gather with friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, is the bread for the journey. The table is meant to be temporary, moveable, and available to every one, regardless of stature in the world. What the table accomplishes is nothing other than a reminder that we are all in this together... forever.

Please feel free to leave an e-mail, if you'd like to be included in upcoming announcements about this new venture here in Bismarck, ND

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