Thursday, July 12, 2007

Versailles: a removed reality

Zenos Hawkinson, my history professor at North Park College, believed that Versailles was a brilliant idea of the French royal family. It removed potential leaders from Paris and plunked them into a remote location with arcane rules of behavior that consumed all their time. They dressed in ridiculous clothing and practiced elaborate social rituals that meant nothing. What this did was to keep potential political threats out of main-stream life.
Alan Hirsch's new book "The Forgotten Ways: reactivating the missional church" makes me think of Versailles in the church today. We have allowed leadership to be about the attainment of degrees and idea-transfering and less about disciple-making and life-transformation. We cluster potential leaders into places called seminaries grouped around denominations and keep them out of the main-stream of life: the local church. We maintain obsolete traditions and rituals, tribal customs and routines that take all sorts of energy and yield very little transformation.
Hirsch's book forces me to look at my own time-investments and where I spend time maintaining the ship and where I invest in transforming lives. I am grateful for a church that is eager for transformation and maintenance. When will the seminaries get it?


At 1:03 PM , Blogger Chris Brooks said...

Good word, as always. How would you categorize hip-hop culture? Purgatory?


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