Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Read Jesus: a radical biography by Crossan last week, whilst lying in the Spanish sun. It is Crossan's reconstruction of what we can know about the historical Jesus. It's a brilliant book, with some real gems, but not for the faint hearted. I found a stiff drink helped! Anyway, it made me think about a few things, so if my blogging over the next few weeks becomes a bit Crossan focused, you'll have to excuse me.

One small comment that made me think was something he said about Jesus' vision: He talked about Jesus' "magnificent vision... But were others only on the receiving end of that vision and program, or were they somehow empowered into it as active protagonists and not just passive recipients?" He answers the question by reference to something that is recorded in three independent accounts (Gospel of Thomas, Q Gospel and Mark's Gospel) and therefore more likely to be historical. It is what we often call the sending out of the 70. These people were, according to Crossan, "healed healers, part of whose continuing healing was precisely their empowerment to heal others."

I was very struck by this and thought that one of the key things we are trying to do with Engage is empower people. I wish to be empowered by others (and ask you to help me) and I must empower you. Let's make Engage something that liberates people to be active protagonists.

I am also struck by Jesus' leadership style. He didn't keep things tight or controlled. He let people free to do things and risked them messing up. Rollins thinks we still need leaders to reject their leadership place - "there is an important place for someone whose job it is to refuse the place." I don't know about that, but lets seek to constantly draw people into the circle of ownership and be lead as much as lead.

On that note, is this blog too intimidating for others to genuinely engage with?

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