Fractal Discipleship in the United Methodist Church

I had a conversation several weeks ago with Paul Watson and he talked about a concept which I dug up on reaching the online generation.

The concept is Fractal Discipleship.

According to Wikipedia, “A fractal is “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole.”

The basic idea is what helps a new believer grow in her or his faith is the same as what helps a deeply committed Christian grow in her or his faith. This is a deeply methodist concept. The organization of class and bands were the same process for someone that was just beginning the journey or someone that had been on the journey of faith for a long time. Spiritual growth happens most effectively in community for both the non religious person and the deeply committed Christian. The means of grace, in which one opens one’s life and heart to God, are the same for someone no matter what level of commitment.

A great concept and an excellent way of understanding it.

What are your thoughts, feelings or opinions about fractal discipleship?

Can two deeply committed Christians get divorced?

I was asked this question recently and my initial response was “yes.” However, now I am thinking maybe the answer is “no.” I never believe that divorce should be a first choice or seem like an easy option.

I think that there are circumstances where divorce makes the most sense and is perhaps the best option for two people – abuse being a clear example to me. There may be other reasons as well. My first thought was that these circumstances happen to faithful and unfaithful people alike and that being a deeply committed Christian would not preclude divorce.

As I think more about it though, it becomes a little less clear. If two people were practicing their faith and took seriously their vows of marriage then I am not sure that divorce would make sense. I would suggest that if one is living out their faith that abuse would not be a possibility and that in the case of infidelity (which is not something to which anyone is immune) a commitment to the marriage vows should make some difference.

I am still not quite sure on this question. What do you think?

Davidson vs. Kansas – the journey

My wife and I really enjoy watching college basketball. This lead to a dilemma last Sunday night. I was leading the 5:00 PM worship service and she was on duty at the church as well. This meant that we were going to miss the Davidson / KU basketball game. However, we taped it on our DVR and were planning on watching the game when we got back.

Nicole was adamant about not finding out who won until we watched the game ourselves. I did not find out the final score, but did not mind finding out who had won. I found out that KU won, but did not know the final score.

When we got home we watched the game from beginning to end. Here is the amazing thing – even though I knew the destination, the journey was really fun. It was a great game and knowing the final outcome did not spoil the excitement of watching each play.

I believe that this is like our Christian journey – We may have a picture of the ultimate outcome (God wins) but that does not take away from the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.

(Thinking Blogger Award)

A blog award – who knew they had such things? Thoughts of Resurrection received the Thinking Blogger Award on March 5, 2008.

The Thinking Blogger Award started here and I was tagged by Jared White (Thanks, Jared!)

So here are my nominees for a Thinking Blogger Award – awaiting only their willingness to receive:

Guidelines for Participation:

  • If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
  • Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
  • Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ image.

Deeply Committed or Seeker Sensitive Worship?

In November of last year, I read this post – Was the early church seeker sensitive? and have been thinking it over in my head ever since. Before you read further – check out the post then come back here to read on.

Michael raises an interesting point and one which I have continued to think about. Is it faithful or effective to have separate worship experiences or worship elements for non religious persons and Christian persons?

At Resurrection central campus, we have five services with the same teaching content at each service – people come at the beginning and leave near the end (sometimes just after the sermon…) There is no distinction in service times between those who are non and nominally religious and those who are in the middle of the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian. Willow and Granger have separate service times for different communities. Stonewall Wesleyan Church has a distinct worship schedule based on different worship style and elements.

I believe that communion is a means of grace and should be available to all. What about other elements of a worship service? Other worship times? Do you think that it is faithful or effective to have separate worship experiences or worship elements for non religious persons and Christian persons?