the weblog of Alan Knox

Interview with Jon Zens

Posted by on Feb 20, 2009 in blog links, edification, gathering | 2 comments

Lionel at “The Gospel in 3-D” recently interviewed Jon Zens. I’ve seen Jon’s name here and there, but I’ve never read any of his articles or books. This interview is an encouragement to me and comples me to want to read his writings.

Here is one snippet from the interview:

Lionel: What are the pros and cons of the way you folks meet? What has been your experience in other words?

JZ: Well, it seems to us that an “open meeting” best expresses the NT contours (cf. John H. Yoder, “The Rule of Paul,” Body Politics, pp.61-70). Pursuing the ways of the Lord will always be fraught with difficulties. But the problems will be answered with maturity and seeking the Lord together, not in imposing a hierarchy and a church bulletin. The benefits of letting Christ guide the gathering are inestimable. Any issues that come up – certain people talking too much, off-the-wall things being presented, inappropriate remarks being shared – an atmosphere of love can absorb and take care of. In the first century meetings, as Frank Viola points out, “everything came out of the living presence of Christ” (Reimagining Church, p.53). If He isn’t there, then nothing will go right, even if you have a so-called open meeting.

I would simply add one thing… If Christ isn’t there, it doesn’t matter if everything does “go right”.


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  1. 2-20-2009

    Amen to that last line!

  2. 2-23-2009

    Hi Alan
    Let me add some encouragement to you to read some of the articles Jon Zens has written over the last 30 years or so. It was reading some of Jon’s work that initially opened my eyes to understand the massive gap between the ecclesiology I had inherited from the church I was part of and what the NT actually describes church should be.
    With love in Christ