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Inner, Outer, Together... Balance?

3 May, 2004 4:59 PM

journeys.jpgAfter I sat down last night after speaking, my mind began to wander a little while the congregation sang their last couple of songs.... I'd drawn on the 3 circles diagram (pictured left) on the whiteboard up the front as a basis for some of what I'd talked about and I began to ask myself how many dollars and resources the average church put into each journey. It'd be an interesting survey to do.

As I reflect upon my experience in two previous churches I suspect that the answer would be that the 'inner journey' attracts most of our resources and the 'together journey' the second highest proportion. As a minister I would have spent at least 50% of my time planning for services, preaching, worship leading, in worship planning teams, pastoral teams reviewing services etc. Of the rest of the time, a fair chunk was also spent doing similar preparation, planning and participation for small groups/bible studies or meeting one on one in pastoral care situations.

As I think about the church budgets in I suspect that the majority again went to 'inner and together journeys'. Most of the money in those budgets would have gone to pastoral wages, a significant amount of the rest was spent on buildings which were used mostly for worship services and pastoral teams, also significant amounts were spent on administration to keep the logistics of a community running and upon resources to build up members.

As I think about the content of services I suspect that again we focused the most upon the 'inner journey'. The biggest push seemed to be in being stronger in one's spiritual journeys of prayer, worship, scripture etc. There was some preaching on relationships (togetherness) and at times some on the outward journeys of mission and occasionally justice, but mostly on a personal individual journey of faith.

It is no wonder that the majority of times that I ask people to identify which journey they resonate with most that they generally select the inner and together journeys and that on almost every occasion I've asked them to choose the one where they are least comfortable or weakest in that they choose the outer journey...



I'm not familiar with the terms Inner and Outer Journeys, could you clarify those for me please? When I first saw the diagram, I saw it as Inner Journey = personal walk, Outer Journey= walk of the church, and where they intersect would be the Together Journey... So I'm a bit confused ^..^ Thanks!

Chera » 5 May, 2004 12:37 PM

Hi Chera, you might want to check out this description of the journeys....hope that helps

Darren Rowse » 5 May, 2004 12:50 PM

While I don't necessarily view the contents of Acts 2 as the only formula for church community, I've always loved the balance they seemed to have between the three journeys. 'Mission' was done without neglecting those on the home turf, and the whole thing was done in partnership with those in the community. Would love to see this balance more and more...

Fiona » 6 May, 2004 2:35 PM

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