Lori asked about how the commissioning went. First let me explain that this commissioning called "Sent-ness" is done every Sunday evening.
I decided I'd keep it about the things that seemed to be consuming much of my energy at the moment. I talked about my children and the "issues" we were dealing with. I'd like to say that I am super involved in volunteer work, etc. But that has not been established yet. So I talked about the things that I do on a day to day basis and the group responded by telling me how I imaged Christ in my setting. Then people offered prayers to send me to do the work Christ has put before me. Interestingly, the radio people were there and I ended up being on radio. It was probably quite jarring for most Australians to here a Texan accent. It was quite jarring for me to hear myself speak.
Rachel Kohn came up after the service and asked if she could ask a few questions and so we talked for a few moments. She asked about my background and I talked about coming from a Southern Baptist upbringing. I didn't have any time to think about answers and when she asked about the church I came from I instantly thought about the church in which I grew up, First Baptist Athens. I'm not sure why, I think because I see more commonality between FBC Athens and Small Boat than I do between Fellowship Church and Small Boat.
Here are some things that stood out to the Radio commentator about the service:
- Small Boat has made egalitarianism a big issue. And there is a definite emphasis on having a very flat leadership structure. She asked if this was a stretch from my Southern Baptist upbringing. I don't think it is, Baptist have traditionally placed a great deal of emphasis on the doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer and they have always held to the local autonomy of the church. I've always considered traditional Baptists to be more libertarian than conservative in there thinking, but that is just me.
- Small Boat is much more concerned about Social Justice than the churches I have been a part of, though FBC Athens has definitely moved more in that direction since I was a member. Probably one of the main differences is Small Boat's eagerness to call politicians to action. This would simply not be done in almost any church I've been a part of. I think there are several reasons for this, but I'm not going to get into them for the same reason that I don't think that most American churches want to involve themselves in politics. It's quite messy, Anyway, quite often and more and more churches in the States do take part in humanitarian aid, after school programs, mission work, etc.
- We meet and eat on lounge type furniture during the service. I'm not sure why this was such a big deal to the radio commentator, but it was.
I do want to stress that the Radio interview is about Michael Frost and his book. He is a former pastor, and he is now a professor at Morling College (a Baptist seminary) here in Australia. He believes that we are now living in a era of Post-Christendom. Such a belief is hard to grasp in Dallas, Texas, but quite easy to do here, where very few people go to church and little regard is given to Sunday worship.