The Center and the Fringe
I've been thinking a little bit about the huge transition of the church in America.
Something is happening. Everyone knows it. But we can't quite leap into what's next.
And there seems to be two camps emerging: The Center and The Fringe.
There are some that are willing to jump.
They're on the fringe. They're hungry. They're desperate. They don't have much, but they also don't have much to lose. So they are making strides out into the newness of what God is doing.
Others are not so willing.
They are in the center. They were pioneers once. They were hungry once. And they went out after the Spirit. They saw and heard God and ventured out to follow him. They blazed the trails and brought us this far. Now they have accumulated the fruits of their work. They have fought hard and achieved some amazing things. Now they have much to lose. They are not so willing to leap out in faith again.
What if they lost all they worked so hard to get?
Denominations and, to an extent, new networks are facing the push from the fringe. Established churches are also feeling it. The way the fringe talks and moves is scary to the center.
Can they coexist? Yes.
But it will be a tricky dance.
The Center has to fuel, empower and encourage the Fringe. They have to give them freedom to try and experiment and create and fail and win and show us what is ahead. They have to understand that the Fringe has nothing to lose so they don't have to listen or fall in line. They are crazy enough Jesus followers that might just leap without a safety net. The Center has to learn from the Fringe. Our stubbornness cannot bottleneck the movement of the Spirit. Finally, the Center has to jump ... even just a little. It's been awhile and we may not know exactly how to do it any more, but leaps of faith are what we've always been about.
The Fringe must be gracious to the Center, not judging or condemning, but being lovingly prophetic. The Fringe has to know that at times it will be able to partner well with the center and at times they will have to venture out on their own. There are some battles worth fighting and some that are not. The Fringe must keep building bridges, but must not expect or assume the Center will cross. The Fringe must always show respect to the center, even in dissent. Keep listening. Keep learning. Know your history. Don't jump ignorantly. Finally, the Fringe must always be open-handed and bless all with what they have learned, always giving away their lessons, both the good and the bad.
The Center needs the Fringe.
The Fringe needs the Center.
And when the Fringe becomes the Center may we be able to dance this dance again.
Praying for the future of the church in America.
CC Image • mckaysavage on Flickr
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Are You Engaged With Teenagers Where They’re Growing Spiritually?.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 5 Roles Youth Workers Play In The Lives Of Teenagers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 6 Tips for Creating Structure and Boundaries in Ministry.
- Kelly Balarie published the blogpost Bible Verses for Perfectionists: Finding Your True Worth.
- solomon david published the blogpost 6 Must to Have Skills That Every Magento Store Developer Should Consider.
- solomon david published the blogpost Cloud Gaming Fun With Microsoft’s DeLorean Available Soon.
- solomon david published the blogpost 6 Amazing Paid iPhone Applications that Available for Free Right Now.
- Matt Perman published the blogpost Tim Ferriss on the Importance of Being Unconventional.
- Barbie Swihart published the blogpost Journey To The High Places: On The Shores of Loneliness (Week 7).
- Adam Smith published the blogpost Labor Day, Your Marriage, and Your Family – Jackie Bledsoe.
- Judy Douglass published the blogpost How We Got Here: Live Alive Guest Post by Jordan Stroman.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 14 Practices Of Senior Pastors Who Grow Great Churches.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Are Getting Pickier About The Brands They Display On Their Clothes.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost Two Prayers That Will Inspire And Provoke The Soul.
- Martin KnoxGood bye, Faith Village. Thank you, Brad Russell, for what you have contributed to the work of the Kingdom.
- Greg Flagg published the blogpost Prayer for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Ordinary Time).
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Florida City Makes It Illegal to Wear Your Pants Too Low.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost MTV Bloodstained Hypocrisy of Hollywood’s Violence Profiteers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Marine Just Issued An Epic Challenge To The Black Community And The Ferguson Rioters.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Who Skimp On Sleep May Face Later Obesity Risk.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Study: Parental Incarceration May Be Worse Than Divorce.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Video Helps Gay Teen Disowned By Christian Parents Raise $90,000.
- Caitlin Wilson published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments | Do You Pick a Church Like You Pick A Restaurant?.
- Amy Lathrop published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments | Do You Pick a Church Like You Pick A Restaurant?.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost Don't you know you aren't supposed to drink the water in Mexico?.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost There's trouble in Paradise... and I've lost interest.
- Caitlin Wilson published the blogpost Expectant Parents by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin | Giveaway, Blog Tour, & Publicity.
- Amy Lathrop published the blogpost Expectant Parents by Suzanne Hadley Gosselin | Giveaway, Blog Tour, & Publicity.
- Ashley Howland published the blogpost Baylor Scott & White hospitals planning to align with Cleveland Clinic.
- James Vest just moved in. Take time to say hey.