On Thursday I posed a question in my seminar about whether the agrarian imagery we’re familiar with from the biblical material translates into theological resources and theological imagination for engaging with techno-culture. Then today over at Science & Theology News : Pastors in the pasture grow organic congregations there’s an interview with Jeffrey Hawkins of HOPE CSA who uses a real agrarian approach for pastoring pastors in their vocation in the contemporary world.
This way of farming offers a model for how churches should approach growth, Hawkins said. In 2003, he began bringing pastors to work on his farm through his ministry, HOPE CSA, which stands for Hands-On Pastoral Education using Clergy-Sustaining Agriculture. Pastors from several denominations and churches around the state visit once every month to work on the farm and participate in discussions with Hawkins and fellow pastors.Hawkins makes many parallels between factory farms and mega churches, and between sustainable farming â€” which doesnâ€™t deplete natural resources or pollute the environment â€” and healthy churches.
â€œI donâ€™t want to demonize church growth and factory farms,â€ Hawkins said. â€œI want to help us be honest about the consequences of choosing those models.â€
Sounds like interesting project – I wonder if there are any others like it around?