Interview with author Ron Martoia [Part 2]

Friday, March 6, 2009


5. I found in a simple google search a number of overly-demonizing critiques of your work. How do we work to be the change in our church communities and handle the often 'demonizing' accusations of those who disagree?
Yes great question and yes I am a reincarnation of the devil himself apparently according to those website along with a host of others you and I know. I think gentleness is the only road on this one. Stages of human development and faith development tell us that you can't grasp a different level of development other than your own center of gravity. So I don't have hope for others to just jump in head first. But I do think there are some very well place questions we can ask that really put people in a place of evaluating whether or not the Christianity they are defending is the real deal, their personalized construction overlaid with all sorts of baggage, or a modernistic version that has canonized the way we have been doing it the last 200 years as THE way. We have to ask really good questions about the core issues and the outcomes we are getting.

6. Others who criticize your work say you analyze the problems well and it resonates with them, but you offer few solutions. It seems to me that your work intentionally offers a great framework for us to take and adapt in our context and sphere of influence. What do you say?
Well you are apparently the careful reader (lol)! Here is the deal, everyone wants in the box packaged answers. That is a product of the assembly line industrial revolution. We have been doing that for some time. Go to conferences get the in the box small group stuff, or evangelism training package or the usher greeter training kit.... you know what I mean. So people want more of the same. But if we haven't learned anything in the last 100 years haven't we learned that all the in the box programs really haven't brought deep lasting life change? I am convinced that indigeniety is the key. You need some sound processes that you indigenize in your local context in ways that work with who you and your leadership team are for the ethos of your church and the people you are trying to reach. One size does not fit all in fact one size means it fits everyone poorly. So I try and avoid the platitudinous prescriptions that people are always pressing for.

7. If you were asked to boil the whole of Scripture down to its most basic elements, what would those be?
We are imago dei creatures infected as we are, and the good news is that shalom wholeness and wellness is available to every single person which reverses that infection. Our role on the planet is to broker that shalom wholeness and bring everything back to the original edenic state. That includes me, others, and the entire creation.

8. If you could mentor us in only a few sentences, what would you say to young leaders in the church of the U.S?
Don't let anyone convince you to do reruns, do overs or keep doing the way we have always done it. Reflect and seek interior quiet more than you do. Help people navigate liminal space more than pump them full of doctrine. Give up monologue and engage in dialogue. The million dollar skill set into the 21st century will be dealing with great emotional process in your own life and the lives of those around you. It is the #1 I'm being asked about these days and one of the main things I am talking about.
Thank you so much Ron for taking the time to not only answer my questions but also to speak into our lives.

If you haven't read his books, they are a must read on your list. You can find out more about Ron Martoia and some of his current projects on his Velocity Culture site.