In an artist collective, the artistic “product” is not merely a painting, sculpture, poem or piece of music. It is much more. Instead, the artistic product includes the collaborative process itself; the mistakes, discoveries and inventions. The “art” is a communal behavior by people committed to a common purpose, often over a long period of time.
In the same way, imagine a church as a collective. In this case the goal is spiritual (as well as artistic). The spiritual “product” of a church is not a building, attendance, or programs. It is not even an agenda of evangelism, spiritual growth or justice. It is much more. Instead, the spiritual “product” includes the collaborative process itself; the mistakes, discoveries and inventions.
The church is a communal behavior of people committed to publicly living out the messy, beautiful process of inviting God to be the center of life.
The communal behavior of a church seen in this “collective model” is one that wrestles with the big questions together; is even willing to disagree and is able to reconcile because it has experienced how it changes us to be reconciled in Christ.
It stands together in the hard places because the God of creation didn’t create us to walk alone.
It delights and surprises itself with individual and unique encounters of God because our stories of today reveal the ancient truths embedded in the Bible.
It seeks to be thoughtful, disciplined and spiritually mature; responsible, involved, visionary and prophetic.
It is compelled to make visible the seemingly invisible, awe inspiring presence of God through making and curating our lives and our worlds.
At Convergence, that collaborative spiritual process joins with the artistic process to flow outward to love and serve the world through our individual vocations and our soul|makers outreach and education ministry.
Our collective – our church is called Convergence and we believe that God created us to make; to be joyful co-workers and children of God earnestly seeking to embody Jesus’ prayer “May God’s kingdom come; may God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Lisa Cole Smith June 2017. Inspired by the observations of Andrew Perriman in his blog post “The Art of Being Church” 2006.
Matthew 28: 16-20; Genesis 1:28; Exodus 35:30-35