i often hear people asking, this question: why does there have to be a senior pastor, or any paid staff at all, can't we just all sort of "be the church" without all this organization and politics?
this all started with my stumbling across Swarm Sketch. one example of these sketches is to the left titled "Prison Break". these sketches are drawn collectively. each person can only add about one inch of line at a time, and then you get a chance to vote on other people's lines. lines with lots of votes are darker.
what is interesting to me is that if you look at past sketches, every single one of them looks, at first glance, like a page filled with meaningless scribbles.
but isn't this what you are always destined to get when nobody is "in charge"? competing visions, some people who don't even care about vision are there only for the chance to draw and fill space, no one person given enough time or resources to fully accomplish anything. maybe these are great visual maps of any collaborative process.
that doesn't mean they aren't beautiful or interesting. it just means that what is beautiful or interesting about them is how they are put together. and though there is an ugliness or chaotic look from the outside, even that ugliness is beautiful because it is reflecting a beautiful thing about the community that produced it.
so, "why does there have to be a senior pastor?" the answer is that, if you aren't willing for your community to look to outsiders like one of these sketches, then you need to have someone in charge, telling people to not draw in the blank space, and assigning people to work on pieces, and maybe even erasing things that should not have been drawn because they distract from the goal of the drawing. this is not a bad thing for a person or a community to do.
however, i am still attracted by the chaos in these pictures, because when i read the words of jesus, it seems to me that he too is concerned about how communities are put together, perhaps even at the expense of the beauty of what they produce. at the same time i wonder if i would have the courage to live in a community as chaotic and hard to explain as one of these drawings.