Saturday Surprises: small churches, men and women being friends
Some things I’ve found recently (and way back when that I hadn’t blogged):
- “The success of the iPhone has rendered the iPod irrelevant.” — Fast Company’s Agree or Disagree
- 1st internet campus baptism, at Flamingo Road anyways; could virtual communion be next?
- the beauty of the small church – a series by Les Puryear, now a booklet; lots of attention already given to large churches… introduction, most churches are small churches, the head, leadership, family, tradition, worship, ministry, a final word
- “… study shows that the fat in brisket is akin to olive oil.” Barbecue: the new health food
- comparing Tim Keller to Jason Bourne + look at Keller‘s preaching notes
- PlugRug.com – another Digg-clone for “the best ministry stuff on the web”; cf. icth.us, whatgod.org, GospelShout.com, FaithTag.com
- Men and women CAN be friends – read on…
I’m a huge advocate for cross-gender friendships, that men and women can be friends. But, I also know in the contexts I live and work in, I’m not as vocal about it as I’d like to be. Biggest value-add: un-objectifies women. I’ve not blogged volumes about it as my virtual friend Dan Brennan over at Faith Dance, and I really respect his thoughtful insights about how to navigate those sticky issues, especially in an oversexed society.
Compare and contrast the “10 commandments” for avoiding any hint of sexual immorality vs. this Eugene Peterson quote and follow-up reflections:
I’ve not lived cautiously. I have friendships with women. I touch them. I’ve been more careful in school than I was in the parish, where everyone knows me. It’s different now because someone can come to my office and we can have a deep talk and the next day I won’t know his or her name. That didn’t happen in a church setting. So I’m more careful now. But I’m not obsessive. These are my friends. Touch is a human thing, not just a sexual thing. It is dehumanizing to deny touch. Is sex a contagious disease? Sex is a danger, but money is a danger too. Do you refuse to take a salary because money is a danger?
And here’s the question, put forth by Dan Brennan,
Is it possible for cross-sex friendships to flourish in our church communities with more constructive meanings than the appearance of sexual immorality? You see if we are training church leaders with a socially constructed meaning of men and women with taken-for-granted conventional assumptions, I would argue that we may not be pursuing social justice at a fundamental relational level in our communities.
My answer is yes. Where, you ask? Well, that’s a tougher question. 1 qualifer: not everyone can do this.