This post relates to the fourteenth and final critical issue in Called to be One: What Now?, More than Institutions - Providing Space .
Their view is a near universal problem. I spend most of my paid working life helping local churches find a way forward that enables them to engage with one another without breaking the rules.
They do not state what they mean by 'institution' and so I assume they mean the churches. It is bizarre that institutions are seen to be such terrible things and yet at the same time are expected to provide all the good things in the paragraph.
If they can provide these good things, it is because they are institutions. Time and again, I hear of fresh expressions of church which don't want to be tied up with buildings, or rules and regulations (many of which are requirements of the state rather than the churches). To me this seems childish - are they really saying they want someone else to do the hard work?
Often what they really need is an administrator and this is perfectly legitimate because administration is a gift of the spirit. It is in working around difficulties that creativity is born. Complex relationships may be an asset, generating new ideas and initiatives.
Ecumenism is based upon conversation and generative conversations can resolve many issues if we have the patience and stamina to see them through and to be open minded enough to understand when something new and significant emerges and that it might not emerge from the minds of experts or leaders.