by Jesse Giglio
This chapter repeatedly gave me goosebumps in the way only an encounter with complete resonance can. Every other page had me thinking “yes, yes, yeah, right” almost to a fault as was difficult at times to actually slow down and read!
Dave Gibbons takes us the around the world and to the past, present and future addressing the need for church leaders to acknowledge the resource and necessity of its forgotten and neglected. Its people. Would be practitioners kept on the sidelines. Weʻre taken on a story that begins in the 1500’s with the (r)evolution known as Martin Luther to the present reality of Los Angelesʻ “Skid Row”. We hit the pubs of London and a party in Bangkok. There’s voices being shared from Wall Street and JFK to Malcolm X and Rob Bell. There’s Shakira, Kimera and Sequoyah… all adding up to just the beginning.
Dave takes us through Third-Culture, providing examples that are more suggestive than prescriptive, customized with the ebbs and flows of the particular culture or subculture. The stories serve less as new ideas but more as reminders of who we already are…or should be.
The chapter opens with the conflict and asks the question of, “what is it about the church the prohibits liquid movement and open participation?” Not a new question but not one that has been answered either. Sometimes we need to keep asking the right questions until we get to the right answers. The church is seemingly built on a system that prohibits liquid growth and prevents collaboration as well as, ready for this…community. Yet we expect the behavior of the people to work contrary to the system we operate under. Dave is asking us to move into systems without walls, places where “everyone plays”. Spiritual work is not reserved for pastors.
We’re then shown, not told, a series of Third-Cultures initiatives flourishing here and abroad. Each unique, each flowing with its respective culture. Third-Culture expressions don’t come in a box and they canʻt be ordered online.
The chapter finishes having gone from big picture problem and big picture answer to calling out the artists necessary to create new life on the canvas known as the world. These artisans are the new ABCʻs.
Artists: Prophets, Innovators, and Conversationalists
Businesspersons: Access, Networks, Fuel
Community-Development Specialists: The Builders
Pastors should be providing a platform for these personalities to create and flourish. To allow the lines of critical disciplines to blur and for the history of humanity to be shaped by the work of Jesus therein.
Now itʻs time to go find the flow.
About the author:
Jesse Giglio loves stories, at least good stories but then again thatʻs why we have bad ones…so we can tell. He thinks life is meaningful. Sometimes the way we live it is not. He’s a teaching pastor and mission architect in Southern California. But prefers activist and raconteur. His church isnʻt too big and isnʻt too small but itʻs not just right either. Itʻs probably a lot like yours.