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Sometimes I find myself inwardly resisting ideas shared in conversation, and I try to pay attention to the emotional tug. It often reveals new insights — thoughts I didn’t know I was thinking.

I was in a meeting where folks were discussing issues of structural change. I didn’t like one man’s view of doctrine. I disagreed with another man’s concept of authority in the church. When a third shared his view of our shared history, I disagreed; and the fourth man’s corporate metaphors made me uncomfortable. I wondered whether my discomfort was coming from the content of the discussion or the concept itself, so I decided to spend a few moments, consciously sorting through my feelings.

I took up the word “structure” since that was the issue under discussion and immediately sensed a feeling of futility (even despair). After all, formal structures tend to support the status quo. As I was processing, someone in the meeting described oversight as a form of “machinery” that would guarantee consistency and quality.

The church?

A machine?


formal structures tend to support the status quo

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