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I have been assigned the task of reflecting on the future of the offices in the life of the church. That's an attractive trap. It suggests that I might have some idea of what the future looks like. It's flattering to think someone might think that I have insight into what will be. But the Preacher offers sufficient caution: "Fools talk on and on. No one knows what is to happen, and who can tell anyone what the future holds?" I haven't got a clue what the future holds in terms of offices.
Nonetheless, my place in the topic affords a felicitous entrée for these reasons. First, we cannot think of office in isolation from a discussion on the narure of the church. The notion of something called "office" is predicated on a particular set of understandings of what makes a church to be church. We could think about ministry without invoking the notion of office, and in some understandings of the church that might work perfectly well. And yet we persist in using the term.
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