by Chuck Lathrop
member of original Lay Missioner Leadership Team

Concerning the why and how and what and who of ministry,
One image keeps surfacing: A table that is round.
It will take some sawing to be roundtabled, some refining and designing.
Some redoing and rebirthing of narrowlong Churching can painful be for people and tables.
It would mean no daising and throning, for but one king is there, and he was a
footwasher, at table no less.

And what of narrowlong ministers when they confront a roundtable people, after years of working up the table to finally sit at its head, only to discover that the table has been turned round?
They must be loved into roundness, for God has called a People, not 'them and us'.
'Them and us' are unable to gather round, for at a roundtable, there are no sides and all are invited to wholeness and to food.
At one time our narrowlong churches were built to resemble the cross but it does no good for buildings to do so, if lives do not.
Roundtabling means no preferred seating, no first and last, not better, and no corners for the 'least of these'.
Roundtabling means being with, a part of, together, and one.
It means room for the Spirit and gifts and disturbing profound peace for all.
We can no longer prepare for the past.
We will and must and are called to be Church,
And if He calls for other than roundtable we are bound to follow.
Leaving the sawdust and chips, designs and redesigns behind,
in search of and in the presence of the kingdom that is His and not ours