Construction Zone

The inhabitants of earth settled into one land, spoke one language, and utilized one method of construction: shape bricks, slather them with tar, and shove them into spaces. They fashioned society and structures with sameness. And God scattered (Gen 11.1-9).

Egyptians utilized one method of construction: gather Israelites, slather them with shame, and shove them into labor. They shaped society and structures with slaves. And God delivered (Ex 6. 1-9, 12.40-42).

The Israelites utilized one method of construction: gather one ethnicity, follow one priesthood, and speak one language – the Law. And God diversified (Gal 3.28, Eph 2, Col 3.11).

The Church utilized one method of construction: gather Church with State and follow one papal dynasty. And God reformed.

Oh, how societies enslave with their taskmaster of sameness! The tendency to reinstitute these brick-shoving methods of the past! We reconstruct the papacy, granting power to pastors with charisma and congregations of magnitude. We build relationships and marriages with technique rather than trust. We believe the Church functions to shape ministers into bricks, slather them with strategies of “leadership development,” and shove them into empty slots on team rosters.

In this world of chaos, systems and sameness seem to expedite the construction and conservation of ministry. But therein lies the danger:  we shove people like slaves into roles unsuited for their gifts/passions and require them to make bricks with straw. Then we wonder why they flake out and burn out!

The stonemason builds His Temple with living stones. If we construct relationships and ministries according to His blueprint (Eph 2.1-8, 4.7-13) then the requirement of time, intentionality, and fruit of the Spirit intensifies. The command for oneness – for unity in diversity – deconstructs sameness. We build the Body, not Babel; people, not pyramids; the priesthood of all believers, not popes.



Amy Leigh is a writer, landscape designer, organizational development specialist, and teacher living in Dallas, Texas. Her articles address themes in faith, culture, creation, the church, theology of the body, theology of women, and relationships.