For my birthday last year, my sister gave me a copy of Playing God by Andy Crouch. It is subtitled, ‘redeeming the gift of power.’ I have thoroughly enjoyed a leisurely read through its pages this summer. Andy has convinced me that,
Power is for flourishing– teeming, fruitful, multiplying abundance. Power creates and shapes an environment where creatures can flourish… And image bearing is for power– for it is the Creator’s desire to fill the earth with representatives who will have the same kind of delighted dominion over the teeming creatures as their Maker. Which means image bearing is for flourishing. (page 35)
He makes a great case for how that has happened and how it gets disrupted by idolatry and injustice.
As I read on this morning… he talked about boredom and institutions. And I thought about Restoration and our opportunities to volunteer.
Boredom, after all, is simply a word for frustrated image bearing. We are made to exercise our power creating and cultivating in the world, and when we find ourselves with nothing to create or cultivate we are bored, dissatisfied for very good reason. (Page 170-171)
These words jumped out at me. I had never considered boredom as frustrated image bearing. But I connect with that insight at a deep level. I recognize my DAILY need to create and cultivate– to weed my flower bed, to play my instrument, to craft an email, to develop an idea. In my current vocational context, God has kindly given me so many opportunities to dream, write, create, and lead. I am never bored.
And as I talk to lots of people about their vocational contexts, I recognize that their assessment of their work as ‘love it’ or ‘can’t wait to get out of it’ often depends on the capacity their job affords them for creation and cultivation. The story of Genesis 1 and being created in the image of God explains so profoundly our experience of minute by minute living in this time and place. When we feel delight or despair, it is intimately connected to our congruence with bearing God’s image.
Then Andy connected boredom to institution…
Ironically, institution is a word that itself sounds boring, suggesting a place where little creativity or cultivation can be found, but in the fullest sense of the word, institutions are the environments where image bearers flourish in all their astonishing variety. Healthy institutions are the ultimate antidote to boredom; they are the context within which our lives become vivid, meaningful, and alive.
This immediately made me begin to think about pray about the institution that is Restoration. ‘God, would you make Restoration a place with creativity, cultivation happen, where image bearers flourish in all their astonishing variety.’
By God’s grace, we are trying to build an institution that is one of those ultimate antidotes to boredom, where lives become vivid and meaningful. The primary way that Restoration becomes this is by the countless hours from hundreds of people to create and to serve. Our church is an institution that is FULL of people who volunteer and give and dream. And Restoration is an institution that affords SO MANY opportunities to invest your time in things that will last.
As we move back to Quincy Street, would you consider saying no to boredom by exercising your power to create and cultivate in an institution that is seeking to help people flourish?
- Would you consider being a liturgical volunteer– someone who reads Scripture, or serves the Eucharist, or greets, or ushes?
- Would you consider leading a Kids’ Small Group and creatively engage our children with the news that will anchor their lives forever?
If you contact us and click on ‘Volunteers’ or ‘Children’s Ministry’, we’ll find a place for you.
On Saturday, September 6, we will train all of our liturgical volunteers. At 9:30am and 1:30pm, there will be TWO identical, fun, non-boring opportunities to walk through how our service will work in the new building. Choose ONE that works for you.
May Restoration be a place where image bearers flourish in all their astonishing variety. It happens because of people like you.