Artisanal Church

imageMaybe you’ve heard of Giulietta Carrelli and the story that started the artisanal toast movement in California.  Check it out here, especially you Sermon Illustration Foragers out there.

Pastoral Cheese in Chicago is a local favorite in the creation of artisanal cheese.  Nobody makes artisanal chocolates like Christopher Elbow in Kansas City.  And artisanal cupcakes are everywhere – but the best are in Georgetown.

Can artisanal church be far behind?

Considering what makes something “artisanal” would make us a better church, if you ask me.  Ponder this:

  • To be artisanal is to be created recognizing the origins of everything needed to make it happen.
  • To be artisanal is to be crafted by hand, piece by piece. (No mass production here.)
  • To be artisanal involves more simple yet practiced skills.
  • To be artisanal implies slow and natural fermentation or blending.
  • To be artisanal often means being trendy.  (See Artisanal Toast  example.)

I believe the future church will be more artisanal.  

  • There will be an intentional recognition of the early Church Mothers and Fathers and how they were the church together.
  • Worship will be increasingly crafted for a particular context and time.
  • Energy will focus on perfecting simple practices like hospitality and prayer and connecting with the community.
  • It will be slower and more deliberate.  No hit and run evangelism.  Relationships take time.
  • It will be chewier, richer, more intense, more delicious.
  • It might be trendy (and who doesn’t want lots of curious people to show up?) but mostly it will be real.  People might notice because it’s a new thing, but stay when it changes their lives.

Clearly this kind of church sounds like many we might know and love.  But there will be more of them led by creative leaders who could be making cupcakes or cheese.  But they’ve decided, instead, to make church.

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