Monday, June 1, 2009

"Is Your Church Old Covenant?"

The sixth organizational tool that can be used in a mechanical or organic order way is partnerships.

This is a continuing series by Michael Fleming, working from the book "Organic Community" by Joseph R. Myers.

Previous posts in this series are:
1) Is Your Church an Object?
2) Is Your Church a Clone?
3) Is Your Church a Body?
4) Is Your Church a Scoreboard?
5) Is Your Church a Factory?
6) Is Your Church a Hierarchy?
7) Is Your Church a Collaboration?

Accountability is the buzz word du jour. These days, any company that develops a master plan of accountability and demonstrates they can keep everyone in line and behaving well will find a receptive hearing among stockholders and stakeholders who nervously seek to protect their investments.

Accountability happens by mechanical order. An individual or group decides that accountability must be in place and then works up a plan in an effort to “create” it. It is a system where laws are in place and those that are disobedient suffer the consequences put forth by those given the power to hold us accountable. It amounts to manufacturing relationships that hold people responsible for his or her actions in a way that is:

Hierarchical – one person is obedient to another
Abrasive – the accountability partner practices “tough love” by being caustic and insensitive
Unhelpful – progress toward an integrated life does not happen
Harmful – the accountability is psychologically and spiritually damaging

In ways big and small, people get “audited.” These means of monitoring seem to work well when they are applied to business. But what happens when we apply similar measures to people? We put them under law, not grace. This is Old Covenant thinking.

Organic order is about grace, not law. It’s “Edit-ability,” not accountability. An editor’s function is very different than that of the accountant. They help wipe away errors while keeping the voice of the author. The author will submit a rough draft. The editor makes suggestions, even disagrees at times with the author. The author considers the editor’s suggestions, and will often make adjustments. The author and editor continue to go back and forth until the project is complete. The entire process is one of give-and-take collaboration lived out in the moment.

An accountability partner focuses on sin and the individual’s cooperation with a standard and expectations in relation to sin. A partner in Christ focuses on being there for someone in relationship to help them along on their journey to wholeness.

Myers, Joseph R. "Organic Community"

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