Excerpt from “faith in real life” by Mike Tatlock:

FIRLWithin modernism, the expectation was that people would fall in line with a system of religion.  Everyone presumed you would play your part in programmatic structures that outlined what was expected of you.  For instance, when I was growing up in the church, all good Christian boys and girls were expected to go to church, attend the weekly prayer meeting, say a prayer before you eat, and wear your Sunday best.  It didn’t matter what was taking place inside as long as you played your part.  The focus was on behavior instead of authenticity.

Hierarchical structures of modernity limited the organic expression of individuality.  The vertical chain of command suppressed and controlled individual behavior because it is seen as a threat to those higher up on the ladder.  Postmoderns prefer the value of horizontal relational networks.  These associations give birth to organic ventures and risky endeavors.

Aligning our missional strategy with this shift requires us to remove the threatened disposition of control and foster environments that inspire organic expressions in response to God’s revelation.  Refusing to attend a weekly prayer meeting doesn’t imply that a person doesn’t value prayer.  In fact, he or she may have calloused knees and aspire to a unique experimentation of corporate prayer.  Rather than being threatened by someone’s “meeting” absence, we must create a strategy that guides, nourishes, and cultivates without having his or her expression completely refined or perfected.  Authentic expression overshadows contrived behavior.

[pages 69 & 70]


Are you skeptical or fearful of the organic expression?

Would you be willing to experiment with the organic expression?

Do you trust and encourage others to enter into organic ventures and risky endeavors?