I can’t escape the mess. Twenty years ago, I hauled around boxes of sampler bottles from Ben Hur Research Farm so I could run chemical analyses and determine biokinetic properties of the reactions in the swine farm treatment lagoon. Today, I’m hauling around boxes filled with a different kind of mess– my new book from InterVarsity Press, Community is Messy.
Biological Engineering might have been the best possible academic background for a discipleship pastor because it’s all about cultivating environments where growth is possible. When I look at small groups, I sometimes see a swine farm treatment lagoon. Other times I see an experiment with Instron machines to determine the modulus of elasticity. And every now and then, I remember the fish slaughter of 1996 and hope I don’t neglect my small group members in the same way. Yep…this is all applicable to group life and spiritual growth. What we discover is that mess may not be a hindrance to community; rather, it may be a very potent catalyst towards the community and transformation that we pray for.