Friday, February 03, 2012

fantastic read: From chaos to mission

On the plane yesterday to Sydney I started reading Gerard Arbuckle’s From Chaos to Mission: Refounding Religious Life Formation. It is fantastic.

It is not exactly recent (1997), but Jonny has often mentioned Gerard, so last year I brought a copy and it arrived earlier this week.

Gerard is a Catholic, yet his writing has so many echoes – the priority of context, the call for pioneer type ministry, the challenge to face society rather than church. In From Chaos to Mission: Refounding Religious Life Formation he explores these themes in relation to training – (in Protestant speak) how to train missional leaders.

He does this out of personal experience, having tried to reshape a Catholic Seminary for mission. He uses cultural anthropology as a lens, what is happening in the shift to post-modernity and how this influences both the task of mission and those who candidate; plus the cultures of what is happening within organisations, how they respond to change.

For myself, working at Uniting College, which has embarked on a change process around leaders in mission, it was like I’ve found a kindred spirit, albiet from a totally different space. When I become Principal, I think I might suggest we as staff and as a leadership council read it together as a way of looking at ourselves from another perspective.

Oh, did I forget to say, Arbuckle is a Kiwi (but currently works in Sydney, for the Refounding and Pastoral Development unit!

Posted by steve at 08:32 AM

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