Sunday, November 06, 2016

Using Reduction ad Absurdum to Argue for the Presence-Driven Church

Sunday morning in Monroe (11/6/16)
In a Presence-Driven Church (P-DC) there's no brainstorming. Brainstorming leads to a lot of ideas, and a lot of bad ideas. In the P-DC the only idea that counts belongs to God. (Remember how Jesus embraced the idea of going to the cross, while his disciples would have liked some more discussion.)

The P-DC concept is that God is our Shepherd, and God is building His Kingdom. God knows what we are to do and where and when we are to go. If we fail to submit to God's leading, we are brainstorming in vain.

This is a core biblical theme. We also see it, e.g., in a book like Henri Nouwen's In the Name of Jesus. The idea is:

1. God is our Leader.
2. We are to discern how God is leading us (God's directives for us).
3. Upon discernment, we are to follow after God.

Note that, if these three statements are true, it follows that the P-DC is not about leaders generating ideas. The entire thing is about how God is leading us. God shares His ideas with us.

Is 1 true? To deny it leads to the absurd situation that we are on our own, without God, and leading our own selves. Using reductio ad absurdum, 1 is the only option.

This is great news for the Church. It truly is God's Church, with God guiding us. This common biblical idea (e.g., Ps. 23) feels revolutionary, since many pastors have been trained in church growth strategies more than they have had training in listening to the voice of God. As one pastor told me when I presented this in a conference in New York City, "This will change the way we do church."

My new book is Praying: Reflection on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.

I am currently writing my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.