DEFINITIONS OF THE SIX CURRENCIES FOR THE CYCLE OF BLESSINGS
Excerpted from Holy Currencies by Eric Law
Currency of Time and Place: Paid and volunteer time that leaders and members offer to the church or ministry. Properties from which a church and ministry operates, and other properties owned or which can be accessed by the church and ministry.
Currency of Gracious Leadership: The ability to use skills, tools, models, and processes to create gracious environments (Grace Margin) within which mutually respectful "relationships" and the discernment of the "truth" across differences can be built internally, among existing members, and externally, with non-members. Differences can be racial/ethnic, age, gender, sexual orientation, class, political affiliation, or simply those existing between church members and other folks in the neighborhood.
Currency of Relationship: The internal and external networks of mutually respectful connections that leaders and members of a church and ministry have. Internal connections include constructive relationships among members and leaders, area churches or ministries of the same affiliation, area denominational organizations, and national and international denominational structures.
External connections include constructional relationships with non-members, different racial, cultural, and ethnic groups in the neighborhood, people with resources and people in need in the community, civic community leaders, ecumenical and interfaith partners, community and civic organizations, and local businesses.
Currency of Truth: The ability to articulate individually and corporately the global and holistic truth, both internally—the experiences of different individuals and groups within the church or ministry—and externally—the experiences of different individuals and groups in the community, the neighborhood, the city or town, the nation, and the earth.
Currency of Wellness: The state of being healthy physically, socially, economically, ecologically, and spiritually within a church or ministry, the neighborhood, the town and city, nation, or the earth, especially as the result of deliberate effort. Sustainable wellness requires regenerative and circulatory flow of material, human, financial, and natural resources.
Currency of Money: Something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or as a means of payment.
My wife and I have been married 42 years this summer and each of us has things that we hold onto. I have a thousand books and she has remnants of fabric from things that she has sewn over the decades. Regularly she asks me to go through my closets and bookcases to pare down my things. I always react by suggesting she go through her boxes of fabric. A few months ago one of our sisters-in-law told her of a project of sewing simple dresses for girls in Africa. These dresses come in all sizes, and finally Elaine has taken remnants of fabric and cut out and sewn dresses for these girls. The really cool thing is that she has used this project as a way of enlisting and teaching our twelve-year-old granddaughter to sew and to be interested in international missions. This is an example of being repurposed.
I tell this because I have heard some reference of St. Paul being a remnant. I sense that it sounds negative and devaluing. But from a Biblical view the remnant was the faithful who had remained or returned and served as the rebirth of the Jewish nation.
St. Paul has remained while so many churches have closed and left, and like the others who have remained they have struggled to find identity and sustainability. St. Paul’s story is one of perseverance and has
benefited from those who are tenacious enough to not give up. I believe that in God’s timing this is a season of repurposing St. Paul and maybe the missional thrust of the broader church. This is happening in concert with other leaders, congregations and sectors of the city. Simultaneously I am experiencing my own sense of being repurposed. Over the past 40 years I have served and helped hospitals, a university, community missions, churches and not-for-profits to see a larger, comprehensive vision for the future. Today the work is primarily about transforming lives.
Over the last several months God made it very clear to me and others that St. Paul UMC is strategically located to be part of a transformational work in the heart of a community that has been largely deserted and left to deteriorate. Is this not where Jesus is most likely to be seen at work? Is this not where the majesty and manifestation of God’s power can be revealed? Is this not where the church is both called to the essence of mission and able to lead in discipling those who have been discounted and left behind?
It seems that St. Paul’s faithfulness is now only to be surpassed by God’s.
St. Paul United Methodist Church
© 2016 St. Paul UMC, Dayton, Ohio