Book by Alan J. Roxburgh

Book by Alan J. Roxburgh

Alan J. Roxburgh has written a book called “The Sky is Falling: Leaders Lost in Transition” (available on amazon.com) that I purchased and read a couple years ago in preparation for a research paper for a seminary class. For the past several days I’ve been rereading and considering this work, trying to decide how I can apply the principles I learn to my current and future ministry.

In the relatively few years I’ve been in United Methodist ministry I’ve been impacted personally and seen the church impacted by massive social and cultural change. In chapter 9, Transition and Culture, Alan Roxburgh states, “North American culture is in a process of radical change. It is being uprooted in a competition of values as an increasingly globalized, multi-cultural society emerges. At the same time, particular forms of Christian identity are being challenged and disembedded from their former role as a definer of core traits for our culture. .. Basic, long-held, tacit assumptions, frameworks and values of both our culture and our churchres are being challenged, eroded, and transformed.”

The core traits, values and world view, of the church are changing so rapidly that most lay leaders and clergy are bewildered and astonished. What is needed to address these changes? How can leaders come together to form communitas? “Communitas is the willingness of people to risk entering a new commons where they journey together as God’s pilgrim people in order to discern together the future that God’s Spirit might be bringing forward to them. It calls for a willingness from leaders … to recognize the gifts of the other and a readiness to submit themselves as novices to each other. This is uncommon at the moment; however, it is possible.” (p. 111)

In my interaction with UM leaders and ministry leaders from other Christian traditions in the US and other parts of the world, the same questions and preoccupations come up over and over again. How can we be in community? How can we empower the church in this time of transition? How can we form new connections, new roles, a new future with God, the great “I AM”, the “I shall be there as there I shall be”? How can we share the life of Jesus Christ in relevant, life-sustaining and life-giving manners? How can we live our own personal and corporate/institutional lives in this time of massive change?

Share your thoughts and questions with me?

Advertisements