Wednesday, January 9, 2008

CovenantClusters: The Vision Unfolds!

I have said that 2008 would be the year to reveal the details that have been percolating for the past 24 months. I am inspired to start this today because of some things that MO Blogger Len has been pondering about organic and organizational stuff.

The first thing I did was label the CovenantClusters logo over in the sidebar and distill a kind of Rule of Life (that's missional order speak for a motto). Now, I must say that I have been struggling to find something that is any more succinct than Northumbria's Rule of Life: availability and vulnerability. These two words resonate strongly within me.

But as I was responding to Len's post today, these words just kind of appeared--and I'm going to take that as a bit of welcome inspiration:
Enough organization for relationships to thrive.
Enough chaos for creativity and communitas to emerge.
Every need met.
Do you see them in there, availability and vulnerability? Perhaps they are, for me, tacit parts of the foundation. You will definitely see them in the following posts!

Well, I figured the best way to do this would be to make an outline, the start of a vision statement. So I did. Here it is:

CovenantClusters is...
  • A Covenant Community
  • Organic
  • Incarnational
  • Missional
  • Intergenerational
  • Self-Replicating
  • Neo-Monastic
    • Following a Rule of Life (part of a Seabeck-birthed Missional Order?)
    • Communal (locally, virtually and universally connected to the Body of Christ)
    • Disciple-Making through the Mentor/Apprentice model
    • Berean
    • Simple-living
So, there you have it. That's what I'll be processing and unpacking over the next few weeks. I'll let you in on all the places I've gone and the people I've met and the books I've read and conferences I've attended and then you'll know the answer to The Abbess' most-asked question: What is a CovenantCluster?

Go with God.


Brad said...

Wow, and woo-hoo! That'sa lotta work to have gotten to where the overview can be distilled down to this, Peggy. Well done! Indeed ...

Nearly all of it is stuff that makes sense to already, from what I've read and heard of your processing CovenantClusters. Only one thing I was unsure of, and it may only be because I just finished up 7 hours of intense writing on procedures and mee brain is mooosshed.

Anyway, I hope you'll address it in the course of "the great unfolding of '08," as I don't know what you mean by it. And it was the phrase, "Every need met." While that sounds relatively good on the surface, what popped into mind was the batch of issues related to felt needs, seeker sensitivity, andragogy in educational methods, etc. And then physical, emotional, spiritual, imaginational, etceteral needs. But is that (1) realistic? and (2) biblical? (I guess those should be reversed, but whoa! That's just the way they emerged!) Can the Body of Christ (local or global) actually ever meet every need in the Body, and is it even supposed to? What then is left to rely upon God for? And are some needs NOT meant to be met fully or at all, because the longing for heaven and for eternity beyond brokenness is legitimate and will not be "fixed" until we are in the presence of Christ Himself?

I may be creating a tempest in a teapot where no storm need exist ... do I ever do that? [Hah! No need to answer that'n!] So ... anyway ... looking forward to seeing what you mean.

Yeah ... definitely yeah ...


AbiSomeone said...

Thanks for your encouragement and questions, Brad! Let's see if I can clarify: The Abbess definitely knows the difference between a "want" and a "need"....

What I mean is more like Acts 4:32-35:

32 The group of believers were united in their hearts and spirit. All those in the group acted as though their private property belonged to everyone in the group. In fact, they shared everything.33 With great power the apostles were telling people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from the dead. And God blessed all the believers very much. 34 There were no needy people among them. From time to time those who owned fields or houses sold them, brought the money, 35 and gave it to the apostles. Then the money was given to anyone who needed it.

The statement "Every need met" is one that speaks to the reality of communitas, which I'll get to later ;^), in that it is a resultant state of expectancy concerning God's provision through the proper functioning of the Body, not an expectation of consumption based on a sense of parasitic entitlement.

Ooh, I'll have to copy this for a later post :^) Thank for the processing opportunity, brother!

Anonymous said...

Berean, never heard that used as an adjective before. Learned a new one :-)