The Portfolio Church

Interesting post activity over at Allelon.

Here’s a catalytic thought excerpted from Len Hjalmarson’s post (on tithing, but focusing on the fragmented Church experience):

For example, maybe you’ve heard the term “portfolio career”. It refers to making a living from a variety of jobs rather than working for a single employer. Ian Mobsby of Epicentre coined the term “portfolio church” to describe how many Christians assemble their spiritual lives from a variety of church sources rather than committing to a single one.

This is a helpful concept which describes how many of us behave with regard to the church. We don’t have allegiance to just one, and we don’t connect only locally. Our spiritual lives reflect the mobile and dispersed patterns .. and sometimes the fragmentation.. of the rest of our lives.

We participate in multiple communities. (See also Joseph Myers “The Search to Belong”) This doesn’t necessarily mean we are any less committed to Jesus or His kingdom, though from the perspective of the traditional “parish” church it looks that way.

(Once upon a time, a geographical parish was a real community, within which people were born, lived, worked and died, sometimes without ever travelling outside it. Few of us in the Western world live such localized lives today. We move in a series of networks, enabled by our technologies of transport and communication. )

Some of us would LIKE to find a center in covenant with a particular community.. but for various reasons .. some of them outside our control..are finding that difficult. IF we could so order our lives, we would find issues of finances would change in light of shared purpose and shared ministry… Meantime, we struggle along with various compromises in light of transitional models….

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