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A little different approach to the G-12 issues. I’m not an expert on G-12, there are people in the room that have more experience with the topic, but our purpose is not to provide a definitive answer to the G-12 issue or present a position paper. Rather, we would like to approach the topic from a more practical perspective, seeking enlightening interaction from those present. It is an emotionally loaded issue. Even in this room we are deeply divided. We, as individuals, as institutions, and as the body of Christ, need to have direction from the Spirit.
Procedure: We are going to read the case study. Divide up into groups of about 5, and address the issue through the lens of three different participants. Each group will work through the reflection process from the perspective of one of the participants. Name a representative in each group to record the group’s perspective. Then we will come back together for interaction. We are presuming a least a basic knowledge of the G-12 issues.
Go over case study and reflection. Don’t try to figure out the case study, it is a combination of my experiences in about 6 different countries and I’ve made some stuff up and I merged the experiences of several people into one. So don’t shoot me!!! It’s not you!
My personal observations to interject during interaction process or at conclusion.
Positive aspects of G-12
· Focus on Evangelism/discipleship/ church growth
· Fleshes out the priesthood of all believers in a practical way (provides hands on leadership training)
· Addresses urban realities, provides an urban model for the church
· Creates space (encuentros) for cathartic experiences- conversion/liberation for the concrete/relational thinker
· Demand modified behavior/ a break with past life.
· Requires disciplined study
· Responds to Latin American Felt needs including:
o An experience of God that is community and relationally centered
o An identification with vertical authority (similar in Roman Catholicism and secular culture
o An earning of salvation by works
o An affirmation of the mystical and supernatural (the importance of dreams/visions/exorcisms etc.
· Responds to AG weaknesses in Latin America including:
o The lack of discipleship
o The lack of community and accountability
o The lack of emphasis and experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (a lack of spiritual power in many segments of the church)
o The inability to deal with human brokenness- Abuse, sexual abuse and assault, violence, broken homes.
o Increasing distance between clergy and laity, the development of spectator members in urban churches (domigueros) (A significant educator’s issue)
Negative aspects of G-12
· The exclusive/universal methodology-
o The arrogant, elitism of an all or nothing methodology.
o Violates the contextual/incarnational model of ministry presented by Jesus and Paul.
o Produces division in the body of Christ.
o Adherence to the “vision” more important than fruit.
o No diversity allowed- Violates creation mandate and biblical body analogy.
o No methodology to reach specific “needs” based groups (e.g. young people, children, ethnic).
o Is ineffective in the rural context.
o Reductionistic not holistic (no missions!!)
· The extreme vertical system of Authority-
o The top of the chain is accountable to no one.
o Is prone to abuse of power by leadership at every level.
o It is power centered and power driven.
o A return to the heresies of dominion theology, the kingdom now and shepherding movement.
· The use of Scripture – a totally inadequate hermeneutic. Equating personal/ contemporary “revelation” with the revelation of Scripture.
· Syncretism with “popular Christianity” or Christian animism
o Salvation by works
o Magical formulas to manipulate the supernatural including the use of visualization for “inner healing”
o Merges symbol and reality
o Is power oriented not people/service oriented (i.e. serve those in authority over you but not those under you)