Harvesting The By-Products of Liminality
All this talk about adventure, risk, and in extremis leadership sounds pretty exhausting. But these are the necessary elements of liminality—that neither-here-nor-there place to which the church is called. The church can neither retreat to safe institutionalization nor abandon its faith altogether. It is called out—out beyond itself into the liminal place of mission. Such a neither-here-nor-there space calls forth a capacity for relentless change. It forces us to be a constantly learning community, with agility and a propensity for risk-taking and movement. And shouldn’t anyone related to the Holy God that we worship be in a continual state of change? To know God is to change. Besides, human maturity is predicated on our continued willingness to learn and to grow. But we don’t want to give the false impression that change, journey, and liminality always involve death-defying deeds to qualify for a genuine gospel adventure. Acts of love and mercy themselves embody courage and advance the cause of Jesus in our world.
For all the insecurity that an adventurous Christianity-of-the- Road brings, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Conversely, in the non-adventurous, supposedly more secure life, the costs far outweigh the advantages. The loss of pathos, authenticity, and living reality to our faith and experience of Jesus’s church is a high price to pay for comfort and convenience. A life lived in fear is a life half lived. Likewise, a church addicted to security and safety is not the church of Jesus Christ; it is in reality something else.
- from Hirsch and Frost, The Faith of Leap, (Baker)