When the church becomes a place of brokerage rather than an organic community, she ceases to be alive. Brokerage turns the church into an organization rather than a new family of rebirth. She ceases to be something we are, the living Bride of Christ. The church becomes a distribution center, a place where the poor come to get stuff and the rich come to dump stuff. Both go away satisfied (the rich feel good, the poor get fed) but no one leaves transformed — no new community is formed. People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for disrupting the status quo, for calling forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them.

from Schools For Conversion, p. 29

3 Replies to “Brokering”

  1. Pingback: Outsourcing Charity at Theoblogical

  2. Theoblogical

    Man oh man,
    This Movable Type rebuild problem is starting to affect my everyday blogging habits……I had edited that post to put that whole post in a quote box and added the reference to Schools for Conversion, and it ended up saving it as a new post, probably becasue it was taking so long I opened another edit window and submitted it again. I WISH I had written that, but it does strike a chord. It jjust made me aware of how many Christians consider this an acceptable means of doing ministry. They have “done unto the least of these” if they bring stuff to give away, or give a bunch of money, but as Gordon Cosby emphasizes in the Becoming The Authentic Church booklet, we NEED the fellowship with those who are from those different walks of life, so that our own life more closely reflects what LIFE is supposed to be, one which celebrates and confronts us with difference, and becoming immersed in the life situations of others who are excluded.

    Not that giving aid and stuff and money isn’t PART of what can help, but it isn’t nearly all we have to give (or to RECEIVE, which is just as important; a part of that “wholeness” we seek but have been trained by the world to seek it “among our own”; and to consider sameness “our own” as if the “other” is not really an important relationship to have and to seek.

    It continues to be a struggle to realize even more ways in which I don’t have such a thing; such a place and a people. Like Gordon told me on that recording of part of our meeting”: “You[I] gotta get goin'”. I gotta find a group who is serious about doing this as a community.


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