Monday morning 'blog-sweep' picked up this interesting post on 'wellness'. It did make me pause for a moment in thinking about my own work - am I focussing on 'dis-ease' or 'church sickness' rather than health or 'wellness'? I suspect the answer is 'yes and no.'
I am prompted in my thinking by experience of churches that 'could do better' - whose health would benefit from being improved, but I don't think that means I am being totally negative. What I think I'm saying is that in undertsanding ourselves better - in this case by engaging withour past - we discover the latent potential to do things well, which is not a million miles away from the ideas in 'wellness.'
When I think about some of these 'seemingly opposite' ideas, I find myself reminded of the old debate between physicists (boo hiss) and engineers (hurray!) over centripetal and centrifugal forces, and my conclusion that it all depends which end of the 'string' you are at. That along with the assertion many years ago by Professors Laithwaite and Thring that both exist and a jokey reminder of Newtons laws about equal and opposite reactions. 'Wellness' and 'Health' aren't opposite (nor does the post highlighted suggest they are) but the focusses on both what is 'good' and what is 'not so good' are, I think, important.
I suspect that in churches we need to be looking at both 'what is good that could be developed' and 'what is not so good that should be addressed.'
I'm also intrigued by the way that 'emerging' and 'deep' church is looking at some of the same broad issues that I'm trying to explore in 'conventional church' - and wondering whether we'll come out at similar or different places.