i.love.structures.part.1

So far in this church planting venture God has decided that bi-vocational ministry is the way it must be for me. Along with the pastor thing, I am also an architectural designer. I have a passion for design. My primary source of fascination is the interplay between structure and form. If that confuses you, indulge me for a brief explanation. Every object has a “form”. This refers to its physical shape and dimension. Every object also has structure. Sometimes an object’s form is exactly the same as its structure. For instance, the form of a snowflake is also the structure of it. Some objects have a form that requires a supportive structure. For instance, a pup-tent has the form of a triangular box, but its structure is usually two masts and some stakes in the ground. Apart from each other, they look very different. So then, my fascination is how the two (form and structure) interplay.

For a guy like me, the Beijing Olympics was very exciting – but perhaps not for the reasons you might guess. I really did not care at all about the competitions that were taking place. Instead, I was taken by the architectural masterpieces that China commissioned for the games. Two buildings in particular really got me excited: the National Aquatics Center (‘water-cube’) and the National Stadium (‘bird nest’). I salivate at the thought of those two buildings. They are marvelous structures. Again, I am mostly intrigued by the interplay between form and structure. Wow.

I share all of that to hopefully illustrate the passion that overtakes me as I begin to evaluate and massage the structural model of my church plant. Not the building – but the church itself. I am just as fascinated with the interplay between calling, leadership, values, processes/programs, resources, passion, people and God’s spirit-fuel as I am about the form-structure thing. The really fun part is that unlike a building that is built and then finished, this model is constantly changing. We adjust here, cut there, push here, stretch there. This constant fluidity is actually one of the metrics we use when evaluating things. If that model ever becomes stagnant, that means that we are not adjusting things to keep up with God’s work.

More on this in the next post.

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