A few months ago I stumbled across The Convergent Church by Leiderbach and Reid (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic and Professional, 2009). It was one of the best books I’ve read in several years on challenges of contemporary ministry. But, the idea of covnergence has another application. The past few weeks my wife and I have found ourselves in what feels like a convergence zone. A number of years ago we lived in the greater Puget Sound area. Meteorologists identify that area as a convergent zone where the prevailing winds are split by the Olympic Mountains and create some unusual weather patterns.
My convergent zone might be described as the place where several conflicting worldviews intersect. There are three primary worldviews intersecting in our community. First, there is a Christian worldview. This group needs to be split into two subgroups. There are Biblical believers whose worldview is different from cultural Christians- that might be a subject for another post…! Then, there is a distinct secular world view. And finally, there is a potent Mormon worldview in our community.
This convergence of worldviews is creating a type of cultural chaos that creates opportunities for ministry- and it creates potential for conflict. Because of my wife’s job- office manager of a public middle school (grades 7-8)- and my deep and extensive involvement in local, county, and even some state level groups, we are often caught in this convergent zone. I don’t share this for symapthy, but for prayer and an opportuntity to discuss this idea further. There are times we quite honestly don’t know how to respond. One example: this past week we were privileged to be intivited into a home of very faithful Mormon’s. They gathered the family and asked my wife to choose a Bible verse to share with their family. The man of the house highlighted the verse in the family Bible and asked Cindy to add her intials and the date in the margin near the verse as a record of our visit. Interesting experience. Not sure what to make of it…or what it all means.
So, from the convergence zone…