I broke the news about Ron Martoia’s ttTribe Manifesto Here. I’ve made some notes about it and here’s my reactions to it. I’ll try to be as concise.
His intro I “amened” with statements like “We can wait no longer–the time has come for a new way forward.” & “Trekking new terrain calls for new maps.” I appreciated him bringing up how a culture shift 500 years that has influenced us in church so long (pg2). I was excited to see him mention Alan Roxburgh’s book Missional Map Making, the next book in my stack to read (pg2). Anyway, this section was helpful I think for those that haven’t tried to dig as deep as some of us on what are actually behind some of the current “discussions” about church and culture.
I appreciated the section on how the church is currently set up on belonging after you ascribe to a set of beliefs. The result isn’t transformed lives for the most part, its attendance (pg 3). I’ve tried to get a grip on that conclusion for a few years now. I had a short convo over email with someone about his section on education being too harsh. I do think education needs an overhaul. Or at least more teachers need more incentive/training/pressure to teach in multiple modes of learning past early elementary. The research on that has been out for decades now without much change in the classroom. I think he’s harsh, yet I think someone needs to speak out about change there too. I will say that most of the conversations I’ve had with high school kids about school, work or sports are based on fear, like Martoia suggests. Or at least doing what’s adequate only to get a good grade, rather than actual learning. Something’s amiss… but that seems like it could be another series of posts, or a book if someone wanted to tackle that. My book (or this post at least) needs to stick to the subject at hand – how we do church these days and days to come. I see the point he is making that church, like our schools and other institutions are based on the values of Enlightenment, that knowledge and reason is king. Not possessing the right knowledge makes you “out.”
His statement on page 5 is a good reminder, “But we can say for sure is that if belonging was a component, it wasn’t the point of purpose. Transformation of life was clearly and unequivocally the point, the goal, and the reason!” Often I think in re-shaping church to help people belong, we stop there. Forgetting that’ s the only the vehicle. Which makes many of us only guilty of what we criticize about the traditional church. Which is more concerned with doing church how we want it, or have experienced it ourselves, rather than making disciples.
I’m feeling weary of wearing out your eye’s so I think I will chop this response up. Hopefully I can hone in more on the 5 invitations better than I was able to in this intro.