Trying to think about life and how God makes it full

Loyal Radicals practising Benevolent Subversion

Great tip from Jonny Baker that points to a very interesting article by Bob Hopkins about the subject of this post’s title. It resonates with me, and reminds me of the post I did recently back on the old blog called, ‘Reflections on Institutionalised Religion’. I think that according to Bob Hopkins, I’m what you might call a ‘loyal radical’, as I sit on a variety of Diocesan bodies, including Bishops Council. The reason I sit on these bodies is so that I might be able to bring some kind of change from the inside, defend and encourage ‘iffy’ ventures on the edges of the Diocese, and try to get the Diocese to see its role as resourcing those ventures rather than stifle them. In other words, I want to help the Diocese create a ‘culture of possibility’ rather than see problems with new, adventurous stuff that just might be of the Spirit.

Here are some excerpts from Bob’s article:

“…we have been blessed with a whole generation of leaders at the grass roots who have been passionate about mission and change, but who have been totally committed to the inherited church they belong to and have worked for change from within. The term that came to my mind to describe these folk was “Loyal Radicals”. As I came up with this summary descriptive phrase, it seemed to take on a particular ring of significance.”

” Now mission innovation in historic denominations has two main challenges to address. Not only must it respond to the needs of the dramatically changed and diverse mission context. It must also engage with the inherited structural anatomy that would either limit the release of the mission energy and resources or cramp the ownership and incorporation of the developing church. So perhaps we could combine two other words that are unusual bedfellows and describe this as “benevolent subversion”.

How do you feel about this stuff?


January 12, 2007 - Posted by | contemplative, culture, emerging church, god, mission, religion

1 Comment »

  1. I can only cry out a fully enthusiastic “yes” to what you have written today.
    Committees are absolutely necessary in any organisation. However it is very difficult to find people willing to serve actively on a committee. Working together as a group is something we humans, unlike other animals, do find difficult, and committees can easily cease to be an alive and living group of people.
    I feel slightly embarrassed, wrongly, about making my comment by continuing talking about Pantomime. However, pantomime shows us that an organisation is not just its committees – it is all the members of the organisation. We all have an active role to play.

    The Snow Queen Pantomime (Final Part)

    On the journey Gerda had been told by a wise woman that her friend Kai was almost totally in the power of the Snow Queen.
    He could only be saved by warmth and love – and two hundred angels.

    When Gerda arrived at the palace with her little band of supporters she met Kai – who did not want to know her. But her tears brought Kai back to life – the warmth and love were in her tears. But then the Snow Queen started freezing everyone.
    So at this point the two hundred angels had to do their bit – and the angels were of course us, the audience.
    We had to sing, for the sake of Gerda’s frozen followers:
    We are going to melt you down
    We are going to set you free
    We are going to breathe on you
    One – Two Three
    And we then all had to breathe our warm breath towards the stage.

    It was a titanic struggle against the Snow Queen
    We had to sing again – louder. Then again and again. Louder and louder.
    Of course, the children in the audience KNEW they had the power to change things, so they sang loudest.
    Someone said about two thousand years ago “Unless you become as little children ……….”

    There is a large element of subversion in Pantomime. However, because Pantomime is considered as being for children, writers and actors can do their own bit of “Benevolent Subversion” in the guise of entertaining children, and we can all laugh and enjoy ourselves in the process.
    All the different forms of Art can transform people’s lives. And we are all artists.

    However, back to “The Real World”. Can an individual, or a few people bonded together as they were in the “Snow Queen”, make a difference – or is that just “Wishful Thinking”.

    (An attempt to reconcile our Scientific and Spiritual Worlds)

    Can we fly? Fly with others?
    The wisdom of Pan, Peter Pan.
    States that we would fly
    If we could but think a single happy thought.
    Can we find Our own way,
    Our own unique way,
    To this other world?
    Can we let an Other
    Touch our very soul?

    Knowledge of the head
    And knowledge of the heart
    Become as one.
    One world.
    And mountains
    Can be moved
    Just by simply
    With others.

    LIVE – Feel Connected (sometimes) – Be Joyful (sometimes)

    Comment by Lawrence Woods | January 14, 2007 | Reply

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