Gibbs, Ch. 2 “Biblical Insights into the Nominality Problem”

August 17, 2008

There are several insights to draw from this chapter. Just this morning on the way back from church, a friend and I were talking about getting involved in the conversation about new ways to do church. As an artist, my friend has been used (and abused) by her home church context to the point of burnout. Gibbs writes, “Within the church context, over-demanding leadership can lead to burnout among the lay leaders which results either in their transferring to other churches, or, more often, dropping out of church life altogether” (47). My friend chose the latter, effectively dropping out of the church scene to conserve and recharge. After a year, she’s beginning to feel creativity flow again and wants to find a place to engage in conversation that won’t burn her out but will feed into her as she pours into others. Creativity is the source of new life in the church, as the Holy Spirit raises up from unexpected places those who are gifted to do church in different, innovative, life-giving ways. But we can’t just suck the life out of just one creative individual. We have to join in the conversation, allowing the Spirit to “renew and sustain” (61) through the provision of accountability and support (60).

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