Church Committees are Bodies not Machines

While thoroughly enjoying Kester Brewin’s Signs of Emergence, I hit on a passage that I’d really really like to implement:

We must reestablish ourselves as the body of Christ, not the machine of Christ.  Bodies are organic, dynamic, sentient, and conscious.  They have hearts.  Machines break down, while bodies evolve.  This metaphorical re-centering from machine to body will require us to rethink our language too, away from the industrial vocabulary of “structure” “drive” “mechanism” “steering” towards more body-centered language: “nourish” “grow” “nurture” “cultivate” and “adapt.”
Signs of Emergence, 85-86 

If we are to rethink the church, then perhaps by rethinking and renaming our structure we can slowly move away from mechanistic understandings of the church. 

As you know, I am moving to a new ministry and upon arrival, I like the idea of using body imagery and organic language to describe the church “structure” of the ministries I’m in charge of (Children and Youth).

So, call for creativity here.   How would you rename these committees using organic/growth centered language?

  • Youth Council (youth-led group that plans youth group)
  • Youth Steering Committee (adults that advise youth group)
  • Children’s Committee

Any creative thoughts?  I know that simply renaming a current structure doesn’t do it, but it’s a start.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Blake Huggins says

    That's it…I'm pulling that book off the shelf.

    I love this re-naming idea. Don't have any suggestions at the moment, but be thinking about it.

    Wouldn't it be awesome if we adopted this at a larger scale as part of our rethink church campaign?

  2. Sean Delmore says

    Interesting. No specific names, but…
    Thinking about body language and youth ministry makes me concerned about hierarchy & the human body. In other words, I think it would be unfortunate to re-name the youth steering committee The Brains…

    So I'm thinking about *literally* being more organic – using more ecological language. Can concepts like The Grass Roots or the Shady Oaks be less industrial, without being mind-numbingly cheesy? Or is it OK to be cheesy in youth ministries?

    I love the way you're engaging us in your re-thinkage…

  3. Jim says

    I have always preferred "team". ie…Youth Ministry Team, Children Ministry Team. Now this may not be as cutting edge but team has a sense of body to it. Parts moving together to accomplish a task. Plus adding "Ministry" to the title also gives specifics on where the focus should be, on MINISTRY!

    Blessings on your new appointment.

  4. RMason says

    I implemented the "Team" Concept as well. And I opened the ministry up to anyone interested in helping with youth, instead of having the annually selected committee. The only drawback was the reluctance to listen to the leadership of an individual that God has placed in that role; too many people still wanted a "democracy", I guess you could say…

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