Thursday, June 16, 2011

Theology of the Hammer

Clarence Jordan  was known for inviting folks into the “God Movement,” It was his term for the Kingdom of God.  In the 1950s & 60s, Jordan pointed out that most Christians were more interested in comfortable rituals and familiar scripture readings than actually doing applying holy insights to the world. (My favorite definition of a prophet is not one who predicts the future but one who challenges God’s people to be God’s partners in creating it).
Jordan & Fuller at Koinania Farms
Never one to sit still his friend and follower Millard Fuller began Habitat for Humanity (and later The Fuller Center for Housing-ask Lynn Twitchell about their programs!) and the God Movement picked up the theology of the hammer. Millard left a thriving business a tthe age of 29 to serve the poor. “Our Christian faith demands that we do more than just talk about faith and sing about love.” In other words, we’ve got to get out of our navel gazing kumbaya circles to be Christ’s living body in the world. Once the Spirit “comes by here,” we’ve got to move on out there.
That’s probably why mission trips are so powerful.  We get to:
1. get off our duffs
2.  let someone else know we love them with Christ’s heart.

            Plus there’s no better way to get to know someone than swinging a hammer/washing dishes/sanding drywall/dishing beans/finger-painting with children/________________(fill in the blank). These photos are a glimpse of the theology of the hammer at work among us this summer.
     Every study I know of confirms the common sense wisdom that men build relationship most comfortably and naturally when they are working side by side.  (We women are grateful to work as your partners in this community!)  What difference might it make if more churches took up crow bars and hammers as faith tools?
       Of course real koinania (Christian fellowship) only begins working side by side.  It grows as the community under construction opens itself up and out.  Our renovation is a forward thinking exercise in discipleship.  The relationships that are also under construction are being strengthened for the next, harder, and even more joyous work of creating a new generations of disciples, of all ages, for the transformation of the world.
     We can count our new disciple growing spaces-1...2....3.
     What can we count on as our goals for their purpose?
     More professions of faith in Christ?  What's our 2011/12 goal? The possibiities are practically endless.
     More calls to ministry-I believe we can cultivate the call of 5 new Lay Speakers in the next year and at least 3 ministers in the next five years to serve local congregations as Licenced Local Pastors and Ordained Elders or Deacons.  (BTW, when's the last time you sent encouragement to our person in process now, Tom Frey?  Please pray for him as he moves to serve People's UMC in South Portland.)
More intentional growth of everyday, extraordinary, side by side gifts as we learn to recognize and encourgae the gifts the Spirit gives us.
      Like those hammering in faith this summer!
The word of God came to Solomon saying, "About this Temple you are building—what's important is that you live the way I've set out for you and do what I tell you. -1 Kings 6:11

Rocko positioning.

prepping for the next supper?

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