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Monday, June 22, 2009

A Word About Popular Methodologies (The Cue Philosophy Part II)

A Word About Popular Methodologies

Moving forward. Asking questions. Dialogue. Facing hang-ups. Belonging before believing. Deconstructing religious (and not necessarily biblical) language and ruts. Understanding and being able to recognize beauty. Falling headlong into a Jesus love affair. These are all celebrated at The Cue. The Cue is an invitation to dialogue as much as it is a venue to respond—both live simultaneously and symbiotically. We are okay with tension and do not feel a need to “seal the deal” at the end of each 65 minute gathering.

The word “seeker” made it’s way into the church lexicon in the last 15 years in no small part due to the great work of Willow Creek Church in South Barrington, Illinois. Since that time, what it means to design a “seeker service” has developed into a cornucopia of definitions—all that come with their own variety of criticism from different groups as Christians continue to waste time on the wrong battlefields and argue about methodology as a whole as opposed to examining their own communities and developing their own personality and authentic responses (we digress).

“Seekers” or not-yet believers or spiritually curious people come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, if seeker services are the goal, the immediate question becomes, “which seeker?” While we celebrate some of that early thinking regarding seeker services, our goal is not to design a seeker service of any variety.

Similarly, our goal is not to create an environment that separates believers from not-yet believers, waters down theology to make it more palatable, or caters to bottom-shelf or universalist spirituality. We believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—our only way to Father God. Our goal is not “worship evangelism” in the sense that we want people to see what we model and become like us. The people in The Cue are not our “projects.” They are human beings, designed by their creator to worship Him. We want them to know Him. We want to know Him more.

Westwinds often finds itself on the frontline of creative churches and often talked about in the mainstream media as well as the blogosphere in large part because of The Cue.

Getting to this place has been a long road of fostering a community that values imagination, permission, authenticity, and community. It’s been a repetitive dialogue wherein we invite one another to collectively craft ways to make church not suck for our friends.

The Cue and all of Westwinds’ methodology is not an attempt at being “relevant” which is usually ghettoized to mean “look and speak cool.” It’s about incarnation and a particular offense to mediocrity.

More than that, it’s a deep rooted belief that God has called us to act upon the stuff in our heads. The thirst for the sacred, the mysteries of God, the magic of the sacraments, the otherworldliness of corporate worship, the tears spent on broken people—they call us to act. We act by creating. By making stuff. We incarnate our thoughts into visual art and music and poetry and film. Projects, proposals and petitions. Moments and movements. The Cue is a main venue for this creativity.

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