Sunday, April 10, 2005

barbequed fish and ministry as participation

The visual environment at church today involved a net, a dinghy and a barbque, which was lit and cooked upon as I preached. We fed fish to over 180 people at two services.

The shaping Biblical text was John 21:1-14. I was struck by verse 10; Jesus saying “bring some of your fish.” Jesus has fish and fire, yet still invites the disciples contribution. This is a hugely empowering model of ministry. Bring what you’ve got to Jesus. Church needs to invite participation. After the sermon I gave out a participation survey – Click to download file, which listed ways people could participate at Opawa. They could fill them out, drop them in the dinghy and then enjoy some fish, with a choice of squeezed lemon juice or tartare sauce.

Today, thanks to some barbequed fish, Opawa took a huge step from one-person band, to participatory community.

The other striking thing about the John 21 text is the way it deconstructs the Christian symbol of fish. For Peter to go fishing is to turn his back on Jesus mission in John 20 and to return to old habits and lifestyles. It’s a fishy text about failure. The Christian symbol of fish invites honesty and realism in discipleship and appreciation of God’s relentless grace.

Posted by steve at 09:19 PM

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