Thursday, May 04, 2006

04.28.06 (pt 2)

The last post centered around practice theory; this one centers around that theory practiced. Ryan asked the question of what redeemed kingdom-focused practices might look like.

Here's what circled my brain. When it comes to things already done in churches, the phenomenon of accountability and recovery groups, especially with guys and porn, comes to mind. What if this became kingdom-driven, rather than self-help or a spinoff of AA? My hunch is that rather than solely focusing attention upon the guy in his bedroom, we'd start to see the broader ripples of behavior and reciprocal causation when we take the systemic and practice elements into consideration. Might this give us eyes to see beyond, to look over and out and see the porn industry for what it is, rather than navel-gazing and guilt tripping? Could men's groups become missional presences in a seedy realm? I'd like to think so.

Second, the question came up about practices that aren't necessarily oppressive. What might a redeemed cooking experience look like? Food is huge, and it’s also where we exclude people; it's worth considering eating as hospitality, a central kingdom practice, particularly visible among emerging churches. Share your food, share your life, invite and include…that’s counter-cultural.

A few implications:
What sort of practices would heal folks who've struggled with body image and related eating disorders? That's a gospel matter.

Think that we could suggest something along these lines to any high school (or college, as Tim pointed out) student? Extending hospitality in the lunch room, where cliques and out-groups are typical...that's both simple and powerful.

I thought back to my school days, and wondered if i ever really experienced (or even initiated) this sort of invitation. Not sure if i ever wondered 'why are you doing this?' I tended to misread that, particularly acutely my freshman year of high school. I typically ate alone outside, so when a group of girls invited me to join them, my first thought was 'yeah, they want me.' That led to some cringing when I realized that wasn't quite the case.

No comments: